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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.]

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      this would be the cheap option on a redesign I am assuming. I don't think the current model or a future one would be stylish enough to overcome very out of date hardware. They either need to take a legit shot at making it a competitive model or at the very least make it a car that people really like looking at.

      The UP idea is a cool one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      just as ugly as ever, it'll still sell to the 70 smoking pot crowd adn the wanna be 70 smoking pot crowd
      hope it doesn't have the flower vase
      • 7 Years Ago
      While the photos are a complete fiction, they're not too bad. The Beetle (like the Mini) can't deviate much from it's iconic look, so there should be few suprises.

      What VW has to fix is the oddball positioning of the driver relative to the rest of the car. Huge amounts of space go unused (and the driver sits way, way back from the windscreen) because they're grafting a bodystyle designed for a rear-drive/rear-engine car onto a front/front platform. A little more cab-forward would go a long way.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, you can't have cab forward on a design like that without the car looking goofy. A shorter wheel base similar to the up! would get rid of the huge dash. While it does give you a unique look at the world around you it is a bear to clean from the inside, unless you have a rag with a handle of freakishly long arms.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it would be more interesting if it used the Up! platform. Bring it back to its rear-engined roots. Who cares if that platform doesn't accommodate anything larger than a 3-cylinder? It's not like you see people driving the New Beetle like a road rocket.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How long will VW beat the dead horse? Let's hope it stays speculatory.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually, the original Beetle (Type 1) was in production for 65 years from 1938 - 2003.
      • 7 Years Ago
      all in all its still a bug
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cool car, for my Mom.

      Seriously, does anyone know what percentage of women buy these things? It's gotta be like 98%

      • 7 Years Ago
      somebody punched it and gave it a fat lip!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like Jay Leno.
      • 7 Years Ago
      man that is one ugly smile!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not all that inspiring. Still very bland. Looks too much like the current one. VW would really have to overhaul the beatle for me to ever like it anyway.
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