Sportier New Beetle takes fight to MINI
Designed to look more like the classic Beetle silhouette, the 21st century version will be launched in Q1 2012 with a choice of either a 104bhp 1.2-litre TSI with a six-speed DSG gearbox, or 158bhp 1.4-litre TDI in manual only. A manual version of the 1.2-litre TSI, plus a 2.0 TSI with 198bhp will follow later in 2012, alongside a BlueMotion Technology version of the 1.4 TDI, which is expected to return 65.7mpg and emit 114g/km CO2.
Wider, longer and lower than the outgoing model, it will feature MINI-rivalling customisation options including colour-coded dashboard inserts, wheels up to 19-inch in diameter and a Fender audio system. Country-specific badging will mark it out by local nicknames, including Kafer, Bug and Beetle, depending on the buyer’s preference. Trim levels will be named Beetle, Design and Sport.
Although final dates are unconfirmed, a cabriolet version is expected to follow the hatchback at the end of 2012, initially in the Beetle’s key markets of the US and China before launching in the UK in early 2013. British sales have traditionally been split almost equally between hard and soft top versions.