• Mar 22, 2011
2012 Volkswagen Beetle spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

The latest from the Volkswagen bunker in Wolfsburg is that the second-generation New Beetle (henceforth to be known mercifully as 'Beetle') is officially dropping its towel to the floor at the Shanghai Motor Show in April. Whooda thunk it just five years ago? The Beetle is an American pop phenomenon, and it smarts a bit to have lost even that cachet to the all-powerful Chinese venue.

Early word on the Beetle is that it is dynamically far sportier than the outgoing matzoh-ball built exclusively for people desperate for cutesy-ness and absolute symmetry. Oh, yes, and rear passengers without heads.

While Europe is not intended to get the sensational 335-horsepower "W28" in-line five-cylinder turbo seen so far in both the Audi TT RS and RS3, it would seem there is a plot afoot to bring such a Beetle to North America. "The Beetle," a source in Wolfsburg tells Autoblog, "is so much sportier now. It's much more appealing to male buyers as well." Some off-the-record remarks tell of a Beetle thus equipped that is better on the track than another VW R coupe that North America sadly still doesn't get.

The message? No more dung beetles.



[Images: KGP Photography]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      "a Beetle thus equipped that is better on the track than another VW R coupe"

      On the track? Even with all the wrong-wheel drive?
      • 3 Years Ago
      EEEEK!!

      WHO SQUASHED THE BUG?!

      • 3 Years Ago
      They need to go back to the drawing board with this car. As far as looks it is quickly moving from okay to bad. What would be the ideal modern Beetle? Maybe a poor-mans Porsche with a rear mounted n/a flat 4? A luxury mid sized car? A performance gem?

      The car is too big imho.

      The only reason to buy this is because it is a Beetle....I need more than that. I have also heard it's poor in terms of reliability. This car fails.
      • 3 Years Ago
      LMFAO!!!!!!! Good one!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Never been a Beetle fan (& probably never will be) but I am interested in seeing the muscled-up version.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's still a girls car! lol
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey VW... Just give us the Scirocco and let China have this monstrocity.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm completely dumbfounded If the rumors of a North American 300+ hp Beetle are indeed true. Why oh why would VW deny us the Scirocco, and bring over this monster instead?
        • 3 Years Ago
        True that! The Scirocco is hot.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're really upset that we're getting a Mutant bug...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this would be a mistake. I studied industrial design, and in fact used to work for VW/Audi north america.. even briefly as their product planner. As much as i still like most of the product line, i believe there are just too many other compelling options out there from other manufacturer's in this segment which look far better and have far more cache' than something like this. I also wish they'd just give us the scirocco, instead. Makes no sense to modernize something like this to this degree.. shunning it's roots in simplicity and utilitarian purpose.. trying to stretch it out.. flatten it.. to turn it into a performance car just seems a bit optimistic.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, judging by the number of German cars in Beijing, I would say this is going to be a hit!

      http://laowaiblog.com
      • 3 Years Ago
      looks like it has pretty bad aero
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like a giant invisible hand is pushing down on it right behind the front wheels - and is about to snap it in half.
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