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National Post, April 19, 2011

Patricia Cancilla, National Post · Apr. 18, 2011 | Last Updated: Apr. 19, 2011 1:17 PM ET

New York • The third-generation Volkswagen Beetle, which made its world debut Monday simultaneously in New York, Shanghai and Berlin, can once again be called the people’s car as the new bug is likely to appeal to everyone, not just young women.

“They de-womanized it,” quipped a colleague from Quebec, as the wraps were taken off the new Beetle. I would say it’s less girly, as the third-generation version does away with the dome roof and flower in a vase, which were the distinguishing features of the New Beetle unveiled in 1998. While the second-generation bug was cute as a button, I don’t know any women over the age of 20 who actually bought it, never mind any manly men. Now, I might consider it. With its less cartoonish features, the longer-roofed bug is still cute but more grown-up.

Volkswagen Group Design chief Walter de Silva and Volkswagen Brand Design chief Klaus Bischoff say they were aiming to create a “new original” — developing the car around the earliest Beetle profile, rather than the New Beetle, which came out more than 60 years after the first Beetle. Confused? Think of it this way: The new Beetle (lower-case n) is more like the old Beetle than the New Beetle. Call it the 21st Century Beetle, as Volkswagen has dubbed it.

The 21st Century Beetle is wider and has a lower profile, a longer hood and a larger wheelbase, making it look more powerful than ever. The new Beetle is also sportier, with both turbocharged TDI Clean Diesel and turbocharged gasoline engines available along with dual exhaust and performance handling packages, 19-inch wheels and sport seats. There is also a panoramic roof, a range of audio options — including the Fender Premium Audio System — and a customization program, including a wide variety of colours and wraps along with an annual theme model.

Inside, the attractive cabin has a traditional look to it, more reminiscent of the original Beetle than the New Beetle, with colours that hearken back to an earlier time. The steering wheel is available with optional painted accents in the spokes depending on the equipment line. The 2012 Beetle has an extra glove box integrated into the dash, similar to the original. The lid folds upward, while the standard glove box opens downward. The optional auxiliary instruments above the selected audio/navigation system — oil temperature, clock with stopwatch function and boost pressure gauge — are also classic features.

Despite the sleeker, less dome-like roof, the new Beetle has plenty of front and rear passenger headroom — at least I didn’t have any trouble fitting in the back. Six-footers might disagree, although the longer roof means more space for longer legs. The trunk is much larger, featuring 10.9 cubic feet of space. A split-folding rear seat and a wide-opening trunk lid make for easier loading and unloading.

Three engines will be available in the new Beetle: the 2.5-litre gasoline five-cylinder, the 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel and the 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline engine. A five-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission will be available on 2.5L models, while Volkswagen’s DSG six-speed dual-clutch transmission will be offered on the TDI Clean Diesel and 2.0L TSI models; a six-speed manual will come standard.

Volkswagen says the 2012 Beetle 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel is the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever. The four-cylinder engine, which produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, meets all U.S. emission limits and offers manufacturer estimates of 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres highway, 8.1 city and 7.1 L/100 km combined.

The Beetle 2.0L TSI is the sportiest model available, with 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The four-cylinder turbo engine is estimated to provide 7.8 L/100 km highway fuel economy.

The new Beetle features a long list of safety items such as Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System, which initiates automatic safety protection in some types of collisions — the electrical supply to the fuel pump is shut off, the doors unlock and the hazard lights switch on. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is standard, as are driver and front- passenger air bags and Side Curtain Protection air bags in front and rear.

Volkswagen Canada says the 2012 Beetle will be available in October. Pricing has not yet been announced.
More info here:
Coming to America: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is all-new without the pretense *UPDATE — Autoblog

All I know is I want a white one :D
 

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I want the TDI one! Gas mileage is crazy good in them and they last forever! Friend grandma has a jetta TDI a 98 and a 09 and they are great mpg! And looks like they putting the gti engine in them too!
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Haha I was going to post this next! I'm not a big fan of german engineering and I haven't really liked the beetle since like the 70s one lol But it does look pretty nice!
 

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More pics :D :D :D

Volkswagen‘s main goal for the redesigned, sleeker Beetle was to appeal to the less fairer sex. So they’ve ditched the flower vase, lowered the roofline, employed turbo power, and even made it more fuel-efficient. Will manly men drive to steakhouses, gun ranges and the gym in the 2012 Beetle?

It’s an evolved look, but it’s already more aggressive than the outgoing bubble. The new Beetle (that’s not called “New Beetle,” mercifully) is 3.3 inches wider, half an inch lower, and 6 inches longer. It’s a smooth, more handsome look, and it’s still immediately recognizable as a Beetle—take that how you will.

The engine is still in the front, and there are three available: a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder at 170 horsepower and two turbocharged models. One is a 2-liter TDI at 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, and the other is a 200-horsepower four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s also 2.0 liters. The diesel can achieve 33-mpg combined (29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway), and the gasoline four comes with a neat two-tone spoiler on the back. Manly!

The interior loses the round cuteness of the last generation’s and—mercifully enough—its harsh plastics too; its piano-black surface brings it in line with the rest of the current VW lineup, and is sufficiently monotone and dour enough to fit into rational German standards. Manly! Plastics and fit/finish are much improved, and the top of the range can be available with splashy red seats.

No word on whether it comes with a gun rack, straight pipes or other manly accoutrements.
From 2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Totally Manlier [2011 NYAS] | AutoGuide.com News
 

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Is it just me or does it look like a lesser version of a Porsche Cayenne? (well the ass end anyways) It just doesn't seem to have any individual characteristics that really pull me in.

Also the positioning of the drivers seat looks super uncomfortable with the way it appears to be so heavily raised at the front.
 

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Is it just me or does it look like a lesser version of a Porsche Cayenne? (well the ass end anyways) It just doesn't seem to have any individual characteristics that really pull me in.

Also the positioning of the drivers seat looks super uncomfortable with the way it appears to be so heavily raised at the front.
I know I will definitely test drive it when it arrives in Canada.
However I think they did a good job of erasing the 'cute' factor out of it. Not that I mind having a cute car ... but I want a more sporty looking car next and the Beetle definitely fits into that category. If they offer a special edition to Canadians I may purchase it.
 

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I'll hafta ask my daughter which she likes better. I do prefer the 2012 w tdi and stick of course. But 2012 passat wagon tdi still #1 with practicaldad08v
 

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I'll hafta ask my daughter which she likes better. I do prefer the 2012 w tdi and stick of course. But 2012 passat wagon tdi still #1 with practicaldad08v
Lol ...

I want a car that is a bit more fun next time around, and I think the TDI will be a bit more fun :) Plus it looks a lot sportier than Kit ... I don't need practical yet, lol ... if I need a big car, Dave can fill that void; but new Passat does look nice.
 

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wow it looks nice! ive always been a fan of the beetle! total redo but for my next car it will be a german car but the beetles cousin the audi a3 tdi to be exact ! das auto
 

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That's awesome! Was reading about the Golf R line on the 'tex earlier. I haven't heard if any R product will make it over here:( Also like tdiclub.com
 

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I like the 2012 ones
 

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I like the 2012 ones
Me too :D It will be my next car for sure :D

Most dealerships have received them in stock ... which means I need to visit VW on Upper James to see if they have them in yet. I want to test drive one ... although I won't be buying one for a couple of years.
 

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I just saw one of the 2012 in the VW lot here they are really nice in person much better then the last gen ones.
 
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