VW Beetle 2012
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Volkswagen has unveiled the latest generation Beetle in Shanghai on the eve of the city's motorshow, marking a new era in this iconic car's history. The latest generation moves away from design of the New Beetle of 1998 and instead draws on cues from the original and Beetle Ragster concept shown in Detroit in 2005. As such it's longer, wider and lower, giving a moremasculine and dynamic appearance.
The Beetle now measures 4,278 mm in length (+152 mm), 1,808 mm in width (+84 mm) and1,486 in height (-12 mm). The track width front and rear, as well as the wheelbase at 2,537 mm,are also increased. Overseen by Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand), with Marc Lichte the team leader for exterior design, the car's newproportions mean the roof extends back further, the windscreen is shifted back and the rearsection is now more akin to that of the original Beetle. The boot capacity is a practical 310litres, up from 209 litres in the 1998 model. The Beetle has four seats, with a split-fold rear seatfor added versatility.
Inside the cabin, the Beetle's designers created a modern, practical and distinctive appearancewith easy to identify and ergonomic controls. Certain features, such as the glovebox and colouraccent panels hark back to the original.Three trim levels will be available –Beetle, Design and Sport – and each will be endowed withits own individual character and features. A wide range of innovative optional equipment willalso be available, ranging from Keyless Access through satellite navigation systems and apanoramic sunroof to bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights – all of which areavailable for the first time on a Beetle.
As well as being economical and environmentally sound, the Beetle is also built to be one of thesafest cars on the road thanks not only to features such as standard ESP and six airbags but alsoa laser-welded and galvanised body structure which has one of the highest torsional rigidityvalues in the segment at 26,000 N/m?. In addition the range-topping engine, the 2.0-litre 200PS, will feature standard XDS electronic differential lock as fitted to the Golf GTI.
When the original was launched in 1938, it was known simply as 'the Volkswagen', quickly acquiring a raft of nicknames from across the world. Whatever the name, its popularity is not inquestion, with 21.5 million sold in the past 73 years.