If you think the 2012 VW Beetle looks like the old Beetle, well, you’d be right: from Super Beetles to New Beetles and Ragster concepts, this newest version of the automotive icon is inspired by a 73-year history. But make no mistake: 2012 ushers in a Beetle full of today’s key automotive features and technology, from three engine choices to Keyless Entry, an available panoramic sunroof, Fender Premium Audio and more. So yes – the aggressive style, the retro lines and planted look will get your attention. But it’s the car that will make you want to drive. And drive.
Sporty. Dynamic. Bold. Since its debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, those have been just a few of the words used to describe the newly redesigned 2012 VW Beetle. Arriving here, however, at this new interpretation of a classic icon, is a story about drawing inspiration from the original Beetle and translating its unique style in a modern way. To do that, Volkswagen Brand Design Chief, Klaus Bischoff and team eschewed the design geometry defined by three semi-circles (front wing, rear wing, domed roof above it), gave the car a lower profile, a longer hood and a steeper front windshield. They also stretched the Beetle 3.3 inches wider and 6 inches longer, creating a more sporting, powerful appearance.
Another key to the design of the new 2012 VW Beetle is the rear spoiler, integrated into the design of the car with a black top and a body color under side. What that spoiler also hints at is the Beetle’s performance: the 2.0L TSI® turbocharged gasoline engine, pictured here, will be offered with a DSG 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. At 200 hp and 207 lb.-ft of torque, the turbo will be the sportiest Beetle offered – though you’d be hard pressed to say no to the 2012 VW Beetle 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel, thanks to 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft of torque. The TDI Clean Diesel Beetle offers manufacturer estimates of 40 mpg highway, 29 mpg city, and 33 mpg combined. Also available is the 2.5L five cylinder engine, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic. The five cylinder engine produces 170 hp and 177 lb.-ft of torque.
A quick glance at the styling of the back of the 2012 VW Beetle reveals its connection to Beetle heritage. This is, however, unmistakably a Beetle for today with dual exhaust, 19-inch wheels and available features such as a panoramic roof, keyless entry and personalization options such as colors, wraps and an annual theme model.
Inside, Beetle heritage cues continue with available painted or carbon-look dashboards, an additional glove box integrated into the dash and optional gauges (oil temperature, clock with stopwatch function and boost pressure gauge) located above the entertainment system. There’s also a split-folding rear seat.
Driving this newest Beetle is a decidedly modern experience, and one designed for drivers, from its engine choices and available 19-inch wheels to details such as an instrument panel arranged directly in front of the driver (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge) that provides all key information at a glance. 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 optimally located in the driver’s visual field on the dashboard. Within easy reach, climate controls are situated just below.
Key premium features available on the 2012 VW Beetle include the Fender Premium Audio System, which adds an additional subwoofer and 400 watts of output power along with proprietary Panasonic® speaker technology that covers the cabin with directional sound from front door speakers and front dual voice coil speakers. Those choosing this sound system also receive adjustable interior ambiance lighting.