The 21st Century Beetle was unveiled on Monday, and in no time at all, people were gushing about its bold and dynamic makeover. To be frank, all this praise has us blushing (and you thought it was just our sporty red paint job). What are they saying? We’re glad you asked.
David Shepardson of The Detroit News writes, “The company hopes to regain the luster of the iconic Beetle brand that remains one of the best known auto brands by appealing to more men—as the original version did” by “aiming to shed the ‘chick car’ label.” Shepardson goes on to quote VW design brand chief Klaus Bischoff, who says, “The Beetle is now characterized by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness,” adding that VW “wanted the vehicle to be more sporty, dynamic and masculine.” We’d say he more than achieved that. Kudos, Klaus!
Phil Patton of The New York Times describes the 2012 Beetle as “a Bug with a rampaging Y chromosome,” adding that the vehicle’s interior design team “provided a treatment that slightly dialed back the cute factor, with generous swatches of exterior color, gracefully blending the interior and exterior.” Patton also points out that a big part of the car’s masculine appeal lies in its 10-spoke wheels (available in up sizes from 17 to 19 inches). He adds, “Perhaps most indicative of the Beetle’s personality shift, a row of analog instrumentation rises from the dash just inches from where the bygone flower vase was positioned.” In the words of Mr. Bischoff: “More power, less flower.”
Matt Peckham of Time Techland focused more on the car’s boast-worthy fuel efficiency, writing, “It’s wider, lower, and longer, and Volkswagen says it’ll do up to 40 [miles per gallon] on the highway or 29 in the city: Meet the new 2012 Beetle, a sleek, slightly flatter, still curvy head-turner Volkswagen AG calls its ‘most fuel-efficient Beetle ever.’” Peckham also notes the new engine options: “You’ll be able to pick from a turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder TDI Clean Diesel (the 40 highway/29 city mpg version), 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline, or 2.5L 5-cylinder gasoline engines, and you can go either 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.”