click above image to view high-res gallery of VW New Beetle renderings

It's one of the hardest tricks for a designer to pull off: redesign a retro car that takes its styling cues from an iconic classic. Volkswagen has already refreshed the design of its New Beetle once, though the redo was kept to a minimum and included things like new headlights, slightly more creased fenders, and new taillights. The time will come, however, when the New Beetle needs a new look, and according to Brenda Priddy's illustration artist, the next-gen people's car will be inspired by VW's series of up! concepts that have been trotted out at recent auto shows around the world. And truly, doesn't it make sense? Adding the up! bumper to the New Beetle gives its face a cheery smile that one would expect from a car that comes standard with a flower vase in the dash. The same goes for the rear bumper that gives a grin to passerbys as if to say, "Make love, not war!". Even the new head and taillights in these renderings look more like actual eyeballs than on most cars. Whether or not these illustrations have a grain of truth to them remains to be seen, but the fact can't be denied that VW needs to somehow update the New Beetle's design without losing any of its inherent charm.

So far this year, the New Beetle coupe is down 9.8% in sales while the convertible is off -19.7%. What will help a redesign gain traction with buyers are new features being planned for the next-gen Bug, including availability of a DSG gearbox and even a speedster model that could hint at a performance variant. Hmmm... kind of looks like Walt Disney's version of a Porsche Boxster.

[Source: Brenda Priddy & Co.]

Related Gallery2012 Volkswagen New Beetle - renderings


From Brenda Priddy:

We're expecting a new look for Volkswagen's retro-styled New Beetle in 2012, as well as a new variant – a "speedster" model.

Our illustrator, working with information he's picked up along the way – as well as some VW styling cues that have been recently detailed at Auto Shows around the world – has put together these three renderings.

The 2012 New Beetle will be riding on the new Golf VI platform, and will offer a nice selections of powerplants, as well as VW's DG dual-clutch gearbox.