Click above to view the VW Ragster concept in hi res

With retro rides – from the Fiat 500 to the Dodge Challenger – popping up left, right and center, it would be all to easy to forget the vehicle that started the trend: Volkswagen's New Beetle. Now with ten years on the road since introduction in 1998, the New Beetle is getting a little long in the tooth, but VW is preparing to launch its successor. However, while the current version is available only in two versions (coupe and cabrio), the next iteration may come with a few new twists in the lineup, mirroring the steadily-evolving range of variants of the MINI. That is, if the latest reports are to be believed.

Engineering is tipped to already be underway in Germany, with styling being carried out in California and production confirmed to continue in Mexico. Among the new body styles reportedly under consideration in Wolfsburg are a two-seat speedster version, as previewed by the Ragster concept from Detroit '05, and a potential SUV like the 2000 Beetle Dune concept. The next Beetle is tipped to be based on the current Mk5 Golf/Rabbit, rather than the upcoming sixth-generation platform.

Related Gallery2005 VW Ragster Concept

[Source: 4Car]