Challenged to redesign on of the most iconic cars of all time Volkswagen Group Design Chief Walter de Silva and Volkswagen Brand Design Chief, Klaus Bischoff, set an ambitious objective: “Design a new original!?
The 2012 Beetle is an automotive icon reinvented. Placing the original Beetle and the 21st Century Beetle next to one another, it?s clear that the lines of the rear sections are nearly identical, but the overall look is bolder and more dynamic. The Beetle also breaks free of the design geometry defined by three semi-circles (front wing, rear wing, domed roof above it).
“The Beetle is now characterized by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness. The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front hood is longer, the front windshield is shifted further back and has a much steeper incline. All of this creates a new dynamism,? explains Klaus Bischoff.
The 2012 Beetle is 71.2 inches wide (3.3 inches wider), 58.5 inches tall (.5 inches lower) and 168.4 inches long (6 inches longer). The new focal point is the C-pillar. The development team also increased the car?s track widths and wheelbase. All of this gives the Beetle a powerful appearance with muscular tension.? A new rear spoiler is integrated into the design (standard on 2.0-liter TSI engines with 200 hp) with the top surface of the rear spoiler in black and the underside is painted in body color.
The Beetle is sportier, offering both turbo-charged TDI? Clean Diesel and turbo-charged gasoline engines, in addition to dual exhaust, performance-handling packages, 19-inch wheels, sport seats and new, sleeker styling. Volkswagen will offer a panoramic roof, a range of audio options, including the Fender? Premium Audio System, and a customization program for the 2012 Beetle with a large number of personalization options, including a wide variety of colors and wraps along with an annual theme model.
Three round instrument gauges are arranged in front of the driver (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge) providing all key information at a glance. A multifunction display is integrated in the speedometer in middle position. The steering wheel is specially designed with optional painted accents in the spokes depending on the equipment line.
Framed by two air vents, the selected audio/navigation system is located in the driver?s visual field on the dashboard. Within easy reach, climate controls are situated just below.
Similar to the original Beetle, the new car has an extra glove box integrated into the dash. The lid folds upward, while the standard glove box opens downward. Another classic feature: the optional auxiliary instruments above the selected audio/navigation system: oil temperature, clock with stopwatch function and boost pressure gauge.
The “cathedral ceiling? dome roof of the New Beetle has been replaced with a sleek and sporty roofline. Front and rear passenger headroom remains plentiful. In the rear seating area, the longer roof section results in more space. The trunk is significantly larger, offering 10.9 cubic feet of space. A split-folding rear seat and a wide opening trunk lid ease loading and unloading.
The 2012 Beetle will offer three engines: the 2.5-liter gasoline five-cylinder, the 2.0-liter TDI? Clean Diesel and the 2.0-liter TSI? turbocharged gasoline engine. Transmission choices will include a five-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic on 2.5-liter models. Volkswagen?s DSG? 6-speed dual-clutch transmission will be offered on the TDI Clean Diesel and 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged gasoline models, while a 6-speed manual will come standard.
The 2012 Beetle 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel is the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever. The four-cylinder 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engine produces 140-hp and 236-lb.ft. of torque. ?It meets all U.S. emission limits and offers manufacturer estimates of 40 mpg highway, 29 mpg city, and 33 mpg combined.
Fuel economy values are also improved up to 10 percent over prior 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine models. Mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, it offers manufacturer estimates of 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The optional 6-speed automatic offers manufacturer estimates of 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway. The five cylinder engine produces 170-hp and 177-lb.ft. of torque.
The Beetle 2.0-liter TSI is the sportiest model offered. With 200-hp and 207-lb.-ft of torque. The four-cylinder turbo engine is estimated to provide 30 mpg highway fuel economy. The engine comes with the XDS? cross differential (limited-slip) system. ?It electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the wheel or wheels with the most traction.
The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will be available in two trim lines “Design? and “Sport.? Each has a unique character. The Beetle can also be customized with a wide choice of optional features. Key features including: Radio-CD and radio-navigation systems, panoramic roof, Fender Premium Audio System, Keyless Access and ?BI-XENONTM headlights and LED daytime running lights.
The 2012 Beetle features both active and passive safety. It includes 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 airbags and Side Curtain Protection? airbags in front and rear.
The Beetle is also covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. All scheduled maintenance is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty ? three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, all current Volkswagen vehicles use synthetic oil, which, eliminates the need for a 5,000 mile oil change, and allows owners to go farther between scheduled oil changes.