The Volkswagen Beetle has been through several major changes throughout its long life. It started out as the Volkswagen Type 1, an economy car that was produced from 1938 to 2003. Over 21 million cars of this type were manufactured during this time period. Although the exterior appearance of the Type 1 Beetle didn’t change that much over the decades, there were thousands of smaller changes undetectable to the average consumer.
The timeless Type 1 Beetle came to an end however in 1998, when the Volkswagen New Beetle was introduced. The exterior of the car is heavily inspired by the original Beetle, but the engine and internal workings are different, with major changes like having the engine in the front and having luggage storage in the back of the car. But the newest Beetle didn’t last long – Volkswagen announced in 2010 that they were ceasing production of the New Beetle in 2011 and introducing a brand new version of the Volkswagen.
The new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is due to be released in Berlin, New York and Shanghai in late 2011, and really, it’s a whole new bug. The exterior is still based off of the original design, but it’s different enough that it doesn’t scream “Beetle” as much as its older siblings did. It’s loaded with enough tech and gadgets that even owners of the last much touted technologically updated model of the Beetle would be impressed.
The 2012 Beetle comes with three engine options: a 170 horsepower 2.5 liter five-cylinder (the same kind found in the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta), a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder TSI engine with 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, or a TDI turbodiesel unit with 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. In terms of safety, it has standard ESP, a total of six airbags and a chassis with a high torsional rigidity figure of 26,000 Nm/degrees.
Every car comes with bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights. For the tech geeks, you can choose to have a variety of features included in the car. These features include the likes of satellite navigation systems, keyless entry, panoramic sunroofs and XDS electronic differential locks.
One definite improvement from the last model of the Beetle can be found in the interior, which is of a much higher quality than before. The last version of the dashboard left much to be desired as it was so large and positioned so low that it made it hard to see over, but the 2012 model’s dashboard features a much better design.
Although the newest member of the Beetle family doesn’t look much like its predecessors, it’s still got quite an appealing look. The roofline is lower than the New Beetle and the arches are more pronounced, calling to mind the Type 1 Beetle look. Possibly in an attempt to get more men buying the 2012 Beetle, the back of the car is far less “cute” than previous models. Instead, this Beetle gets its rear in gear with two tailpipes and a rear spoiler that looks almost Porsche-like.
This post was provided by Car Rental Express - a website that provides car rentals in Houston, Salt Lake City and lots of other locations around the globe. It was written by Ryan Embly.