• Mar 19, 2010
3rd verse, same as the first. Not entirely, of course, but when the subject is the Volkswagen New Beetle, the looks of the car are largely a foregone conclusion. Just like the current New Beetle evokes the original Type 1 with its roundy-round fat-fenderedness, the next version, expected to go on sale in May 2011, will continue paying homage to the classic form. The outward differences will be a less-arched roofline that's more like the Ragster concept, and reportedly more surface detailing to break up the current car's vast expanses of featureless sheetmetal.
The new roofline and a stretch in wheelbase, plus a bump in width, will allow more logical interior packaging. Underneath all the retro, the next Beetle will again be running hardware shared with the Jetta. The UK's Autocar reports that its sources indicate the Beetle's dynamics will improve, with the ride becoming more supple. The familiar strut front suspension and beam rear axle layout will return, though a multi-link rear suspension will go into top-zoot models for sportier reflexes. Powertrain combinations in North America will likely be only two or three choices, possibly a 2.0T at the top, a TDI for the economy conscious, and the Jetta's 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder standard otherwise. A hybrid powertrain may also be in the works.

While the concept of a "new" Beetle conjures visions of more of the same, Autocar's rendering looks fresh, and even within the constraints of a 70-year-old design brief, there's room for new expression.

[Source: Autocar | Rendering: Autocar]


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  • 34 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would much rather the 'other' bug be offered. (i.e. - Scirocco).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought the name derived from the Italian word for the Sirocco wind?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really like the porsche-like front end but the roof is just terrible...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dr. P would approve. Not such a chick car anymore.
      I want 1.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good riddance. The current beetle looks like it was designed in adobe illustrator. The three foot deep dash that makes it feel like you are driving from the back seat. Let's hope designs antichrist J Mays is no where the new one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Personally, I think Autocar's rendering looks really awful with that ugly, flattened roof, decreased visibility (can we please end that trend?), and superfluous body creases.

      My two cents: the new version needs to be smaller and look more--not less--like the original Beetle. Forget the "supple". Get back to where you once belonged: basic, inexpensive transportation. Otherwise, it's not a Beetle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice Scion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nice blindness.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How in the hell do you see a Scion in that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think car companies are going to have some problems updating their "retroesque" cars: PT Cruiser, HHR, Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, Beetle, etc. When you design a car to look like a vehicle from 40 years ago, what do you do when it's time for a redesign? Make it look like a car from 30 years ago?

      just my $0.02 for the day
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure the PT Cruiser is dead and the HHR won't be revised either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually they really shouldn't, especially in the case of Camaros and Mustangs. Those cars have several generations of cars to draw styling cues off of. In the case of the HHR and PT Cruiser, I believe both are being discontinued. The HHR is being replaced by the Orlando. No clue about the PT Cruiser, things may have changed with Fiat being in control. But I highly doubt they'll continue the model.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A talented designer can update a retroesque design and still make it fresh. The New Beetle, Mini Cooper, and Ford Mustang have all been updated since their initial release to great success. It's a shame that the PT Cruiser and HHR are going away, there are some cool directions those designs could have gone if they had been allowed to continue.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, there can be an issue w/refreshing a 'heritage' design. But part of that is perception - the Porsche 911 has really not been changed from its 60s-era design. Yet few deride it based on that lack of styling progression.

        Perhaps the trick is to truly focus on improving the driving dynamics, and of course overall quality.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks to me like more of a bulbous Audi TT.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The original Beetle is undisputedly timeless, and though the 2nd gen wasn't so much, it still payed a fair amount of homage to the original. This 3rd installment bears striking resemblance to every other car coming out in tomorrow's market. They shouldn't be calling this guy the Beetle. It's a derivative of a derivative, without any meaningful ties to the original. It looks like it was designed by Californian surfer culture, not German engineers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ya, the original one was the best, and oddly enough, not a girly car. Growing up, before I could even drive, it was THE college car for all guys. Now they are expensive and collectible, but at one time, they were cheap and EVERYWHERE. Where are all the new ones?

        Now, its the ultimate girls car equipped with a flower holder. Awwww.

        Maybe if they made a flat 4 rear engine car again, guys wouldn't be afraid to drive it without getting laughed at.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't believe nobody said it looks like a squashed bug.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm hoping that this new version is an actual car rather than a fashion item!

      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks less girly
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