Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Beetle

Now here comes another Beetle, the third generation car, on sale from 2012. Although recognisably a close relation of its predecessor, this one has been deliberately de-feminised and given much improved driving dynamics. Where the previous car was something of a retro pastiche, this one is more contemporary, with much more visual muscle and a more masculine flavour. Although its overall dimensions seem similar, it is actually larger: 152 mm longer, 84 mm wider and 12 mm lower. It also has a longer wheelbase and wider track. Compared with the now obsolete so- called New Beetle, this one (reverting to just being called Beetle) has a slightly more swept-back style to give it a bit more of a coupe look. From some angles there is a touch of Porsche about its design.

The re-invented Beetle is on sale in the UK from early 2012 and prices will start from £14,897 for a petrol-engined 1.2 TSI with 103 bhp. There will also be a 1.4 TSI (158 bhp) and a diesel-engined 1.6 TDI (103 bhp). The 2.0 TSI goes on sale in mid-2012.

Performance

Under the skin the Beetle has much in common with a Volkswagen Golf: they share basically the same chassis. At the Beetle’s Berlin launch, the 2.0 TSI was the only version available to drive. Its engine is basically the same as powers a Golf GTi, so it is certainly no slouch, with a top speed of double the UK maximum permitted limit, and a lively pace through the gears. It's 0-62 acceleration time is worthy of a sports car. For those who prefer an automatic gearbox, it can optionally be equipped with VW's excellent twin-clutch DSG auto.


Published : 26/09/11 Author : Melanie Carter

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