New 2011 VW Beetle Review – Volkswagen’s New Beetle is about to get a testosterone injection. A mean-looking chopped top, 200 H.P. motor, widened stance, and a larger interior will transform the quintessential chick car into a rock-hard rock star.
The original neo-classic New Beetle derived from an idea of Freeman Thomas and J. Mays at VW’s Southern California design center. Their Concept 1 appeared in 1994 and met with such wild acclaim that VW produced it for the 1999 model year. Sales ran hot for a couple years but tapered as the new wore off and the Beetle came to be seen as overly cute. BMW’s revived MINI Cooper undoubtedly stole some sales as well. Last year a mere 15,000 New Beetles left showrooms, way down from its peak when Volkswagen sold over a hundred thousand units.
The new New Beetle will once again be based on VW’s proven Golf chassis, but upgraded a generation. It will face stiff competition from Fiat’s revived 500.
Engine choices will be three: the familiar 5 cylinder used in today’s Golf and Jetta, the GTI’s turbo hottie, and a diesel option.
The original Beetle was made for 65 years. The first New Beetle for 12. The accelerating rate of change means updates must come fasterandfaster. And this time it’s a sex change.
And, if this wasn’t enough change, rumors buzz that the 2017 third gen New Beetle will feature a Porsche-engineered four cylinder boxer engine. . . located in the rear.