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The VW Beetle Comes of Age with its New Model

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Over 70 years after the release of the original Beetle and 13 years after the New Beetle graced showrooms of the world, Volkswagen’s latest iteration of the Bug looks set to be a return to its original form as this little beauty loses its cutesy features and looks to get bigger and meaner. VW’s redesign sees the car return to its previous androgyny, with features such as the dashboard bud vase tossed aside in favour of a more practical design elements and a bigger body. VW are hoping this will boost sales by making the car appeal to both genders and lose the girly image the 1998 model ushered in.

The 2012 Beetle has grown 152mm in length and 84mm in width from the previous model, losing a paltry 12mm from its height, while the track width front and rear and wheelbase have also grown in size. A redesign of the interior space has allowed much more room in this small but mighty vehicle, with the boot capacity jumping from 209 liters to a spacious 310 liters and the split-fold rear seat offering improved versatility. New interior features include a flat bottom steering wheel, integrated SatNav system with a 5 or 6.5-inch screen and additional upwards folding glovebox. The 2012 VW Beetle also offers a panoramic sunroof as an option that is 80 percent larger than the sunroof on the 1998 model. This new model belies a much more practical attitude towards driving than previous models and feels a bit more grown- up than its predecessors for it.

Engine choices will vary depending on location, with U.S. buyers being offered a wider array of engines, but for most of the world choices will include a 1.2-liter TSI with 105HP, a 1.4-liter TSI delivering 160HP and a 2.0-liter TSI with 200HP. There will also be diesel range available which includes a 1.6-liter with 105HP and a 140HP variation. The diesel model will be capable of delivering 54.7mpg US or 65.7 mpg UK and promises low CO2 emissions at just 112 g/km.

The new VW beetle will be for sale October 2011 in North America and Europe and will follow in Asia and South America in 2012.