The 2012 model represents an evolution of the iconic design. According to the company the car represents “a new original”, with the whole car being “remade” and rethought from scratch, while injecting the Volkwagen and Beetle DNA.
Following on from the success of the 1998 release of The New Beetle, this latest design shifts the familiar aesthetic. Where The New Beetle was a relatively faithful representation of the original, the new model is wider, lower and slightly less ‘bubble-like’.
The windscreen, for instance, is now a lot less steep and features a ‘step’ where glass meets roof – eliminating the 3 perfect arcs of the ’98 model.
Small design touches make the car feel ‘very Beetle’, including the rear spoiler – which is black on the top-side despite the car colour – and the unmistakable pronounced wheel arches.
Inside, the interiors are very modern, with little reference to the original beetle, reflecting part of the design intent: “The Beetle is now characterised by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness,” explains Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for Volkswagen Brand. “A new dynamism.”
It’s touted as being the most fuel-efficient model yet (perhaps unsurprising considering the advances in motor technology in the last 10 years). You can see in this video that they don’t mind opening the throttle on a dusty field though, perhaps not the best use of fuel, but fun nonetheless.
All things considered though, it seems a completely new car that feels vaguely reminiscent of the classic. No doubt there’ll be a few Beetle fanatics that have something to say about this one!