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New Volkswagen Beetle — Shanghai motor show 2011: new VW Beetle - 2011
This is the new Volkswagen Beetle, unveiled today at the
Shanghai motor show. Yes, new.
The first thing you’ll notice is the slightly hotch-potch
styling. The third generation of the little bug gets a new face, blending VW’s
ubiquitous corporate front with the unmistakable grinning eyes of the Beetle on
top. Rear three-quarters takes us back to the first-gen model, making it more
car-like than its predecessor. And sportier too, apparently.
Volkswagen says the exterior was designed by Marc Lichte,
who also did the Scirocco, while underneath sits a Golf: new new Beetle pinches the Golf’s platform and engines, right up to
a 2.0-litre turbo with 200bhp, top speed 140mph. This frenetic top end in a car
never initially designed to do such speed necessitates a self-raising rear
spoiler, dontcha’ know.
Once you’ve swallowed the looks, however, it’s all top-notch
VW inside. The dash combines every-VW-you’ve-seen together with an
upwards-opening glove-box (remember that?) and a Panasonic/Fender hi-fi system.
You can even option a triumvirate of gauges previously unheard of for a Beetle:
oil temp, boost and stopwatch. Fancy that.
It’ll hit UK shores in January 2012 with two engines; a
105bhp and 160bhp TSI (emitting 139g/km of CO2) petrol, while the 200bhp version
will land later on next year.