Report: VW New Beetle successor timeframe and details come into focus

2005 Volkswagen Ragster concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Volkswagen New Beetle hasn't exactly been, well, "New," for many years now. However, a report from AutoWeek states that the Bug will get a much-needed overhaul later this year, with a concept car expected to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show near the end of 2010. Following the show car debut, the production New Beetle should be hitting U.S. dealers in May of 2011.

AW reports that design sources within Volkswagen indicate that the new New Beetle will take styling cues from the 2005 Ragster concept (pictured). What's more, the next-generation car will have a stronger focus on driving dynamics, rather than overall retro style. As for powertrains, the U.S. can expect both the 2.5-liter five-cylinder and 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder mills to be under-hood, with a twin-charged 1.4-liter gasoline/electric hybrid reportedly in the works. Five- and six-speed manual transmissions will be offered, as well as an optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

But while all this is well and good, will a styling and dynamic overhaul be enough to revive the New Beetle's momentum here in the U.S., or will it simply go the way of the original Beetle in just a few years time? Have your say, in comments.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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