The 21st Century Beetle, My 1st Impression

The 21st Century Beetle, My 1st Impression

So yesterday I got to spend the day down in San Diego playing with the new “21st Century Beetle”!  I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures and maybe even some video of the All-New Bug, but I’m one of those people who try to reserve judgement until I see the new model in person, and I was extremely impressed!  VW has done a great job of getting rid of the old “cutesy” New Beetle ethos, and replacing it with something that’s not only better looking and better performing, but also much more true to the original.

Now of course nothing can ever equal, much less surpass the classic Beetle for its, umm… Beetleness, but for a modern re-interpretation, VW has hit it spot-on!  The styling of the “21st Century Beetle” is an homage to the original, outside and in.  From the more classic long hood and more vertical windscreen, to the short-flat dash with the mega-awesome Kaferfach (Kay-fer-FAWK!) glovebox.   Now of course its been 50 years since we had the original Beetle, so there had to be some modern upgrades, and VW hasn’t let us down!  Standard Bluetooth on all models, power everything, and for you purists, VW stuck with the much-loved hand-roller worm gear seat recline!  The contoured rear headliner means I don’t have to tilt my head to the side when I’m in the back seat any more, and the trunk actually has almost as much space as our Jetta (which is good!).   The panoramic moonroof makes everything feel nice and open inside, and while I’d like the seats to be a little more bucket-ish, they still hold you in pretty well going around the corners.

Power comes from my beloved 2.5 liter in-line 5-cylinder engine with 170hp/177 lbft of torque paired with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto, then the 200hp 2.0T engine from our GTI, or the 140hp/236lb/ft Turbo-diesel (which is delayed introduction) either one paired with a 6speed manual transmission or the DSG with paddle-shifters!  Brembo brakes (on the 2.0T) provide plenty of stopping power to keep all those raging ponies under control, while the 17, 18, or 19 (yeah!) inch wheels keep everything looking all kinds of awesome.

Now the important part is, what is it like to drive?  Well, since California DMV has been so nice as to take OVER 2 1/2 MONTHS to send me my renewed drivers license, VW wouldn’t let me drive, but i got to be a professional passenger at the training, and everyone who got to drive loved the car.  Great ride, seriously fun to drive.  Honestly its extremely similar to the GTI in the Turbo model!

In a nutshell, VW’s done an awesome job.  Its like they took a GTI, Porsche, and an old Beetle and smashed them all together and came up with this!  Then to top everything off, they’re offering some pretty darn cool options like retro-styled alloy wheels, and skins you can get professionally installed to personalize your car in dozens of different ways.  The red one in the pictures here is an example of that.   I really like the 21’st Century Beetle (thats VW’s official name for it, so I have to give in to the corporate pressure) and I’m genuinely excited for its arrival in mid October!

Going back into business mode, if you’re interested in the Beetle, or just have more questions, please call, or contact me here!

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2012 New Beetle Pricing Announced!

The highly customizable Beetle offers German craftsmanship and sophistication and a sporty new attitude

  • Powerful, Efficient 2.5L and 2.0 TSI® Turbocharged Engines at Launch
  • Forthcoming TDI® Clean Diesel Model Will Offer an Estimated 40 mpg Highway
  • Longer, Lower, and Wider than the Previous Beetle
  • Sporty Features Include 19-inch wheels, Performance-Handling Packages, and Sport Seats
  • Available Premium Features include Bluetooth® technology, Slide and Tilt Panoramic Roof, Fender® Premium Audio System, Keyless Access with push- button start, leather seating surfaces, and BI-XENON Headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights
  • No-Charge, Three-Year/36,000-Mile Carefree Maintenance® Program

Herndon, VA Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced pricing for the 21st Century Beetle, the third generation of the classic people’s car. The new Beetle will start at just $18,995, offering an agile, driver-oriented coupe that respects the Beetle’s past yet looks to the future.

The 21st Century Beetle is an automotive icon reinvented, a nod to the heritage and character of Volkswagen and our remarkable history, said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. This new interpretation of the original Beetle holds true to the traditional spirit of the car, with all the benefits of modern technologies and efficiencies.

The 2.5L model, which has a starting MSRP of $18,995, has a 170-horsepower in-line five-cylinder engine and offers fuel economy that is improved by up to 10 percent over past 2.5L models. When outfitted with the five-speed manual transmission, the mileage is estimated at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The optional six-speed automatic offers EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

The 2.5L comes standard with a split folding rear seat, aux-in for portable audio players, a leather steering wheel, unique and customizable17-inch alloy wheels, and an eight-speaker audio system. Desirable options include a kaeferfach additional glovebox that is similar to that of the original Beetle, Bluetooth® technology, iPod® connectivity, heated front seats, three-color interior ambient lighting, and leatherette seating surfaces.

The sportiest model the 2.0L TSI will have a starting MSRP of $23,395. This model uses Volkswagen’s critically acclaimed 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. As well as providing sparkling performance, the four-cylinder engine with automatic transmission offers an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg city.

The 2.0L has a standard six-speed manual transmission, with the option of Volkswagen’s DSG© dual-clutch automatic transmission. It takes the standard equipment found on the 2.5L and adds Bluetooth® technology, iPod® connectivity, three-color ambient lighting, larger brakes with red calipers, a kaeferfach additional glovebox that is similar to that of the original Beetle, sport seating surfaces, 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, three additional gauges on the dashboard, and alloy pedals.

In 2012, a TDI Clean Diesel model will become available, powered by Volkswagen’s highly efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. This will be the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever, with an expected highway estimate of 40 mpg.

The 2012 Beetle features sportier, more dynamic, and bolder styling than the previous model. It is also 3.3 inches wider, 6.0 inches longer, and 0.5 inches lower, giving the car a more muscular appearance that has a broad appeal. The Beetle will be available in three trim lines, some of which include the transparent, panoramic tilt/slide glass sunroof that is 80 percent longer than on the previous model.

The Beetle comes standard with the RCD 310 sound system with eight speakers; an optional premium VIII audio system features a CD changer, interface for SD cards, and a touchscreen. The Beetle will also offer concert-quality sound with an available Fender® Premium Audio System, designed exclusively for Volkswagen. In a partnership that combines quality automotive engineering and quality sound engineering, Volkswagen and Fender have teamed up to bring the raw emotion of live music to the driving experience.

The Beetle includes Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in some types of collisions. The Beetle is also covered under the no-charge, 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled Carefree Maintenance® Program.


The New 2012 Beetle

Yesterday morning VW unveiled the all-new 2012 Beetle!  Judging from the pictures, this is an amazing car that Volkswagen has doen themselves proud with.  Here’s the complete write-up from VW Vortex…

Well Volkswagen has officially taken the wraps off of their next generation Beetle and we like it. Judging from the comments in our forums we’d say an awful lot of you like it as well. I had the chance to see the new Beetle in person and sit in it today and overall came away impressed with the level of detail and thought that went into not only the exterior and interior details but the trim levels and choices that will be available when it launches in September.

First, the new design manages to update the Beetle in a way that makes it different than the outgoing model yet still identifiable as a Beetle. The exterior gives a nod to the very first aircooled prototypes with a more sloping rear end and upright windshield. But it goes beyond that with thoroughly modern sheetmetal with creases and vertical surfaces that give the car a more purposeful and substantial look. The new car is 3.3 inches wider, 6 inches longer and half an inch lower. The dimensions make the car look lower and wider lending a more sporty appearance, especially with the new 18″ and 19″ wheels.

Inside the interior is completely new with retro cues in a mix of textures that hang together really well and make it feel special. Turbo models get a gauge pod cluster integrated into the dash with a boost gauge, chrono and oil temp. A “Kaeferfach” glovebox in addition to the standard glovebox is a nice nod to VW’s aircooled past as well. Some of the dash pieces are color matched to the exterior colors on the 2.5 and TDI models while the turbo models get a carbon-fiber look that manages to look like real carbon fiber. The 400 watt Fender sound system is worth every penny – it sounds great with beautiful clarity that rivals systems that cost far more. Headunits will range from the basic RCD-310 up through a top of the line RNS-510 with full navigation so everyone should be happy. Interior trim options include cool new cloth options, leatherette with a new weave pattern on the bolsters and full leather available in two-tone color combinations. Headroom, shoulder and hip space have all increased in the back seat making it a more pleasant place to sit than the old car but not somewhere I’d like to be on a long road trip. The new sunroof is quite a bit larger and gives the impression of a larger panoramic glass roof but still opens fully. The interior plastics and textures all match nicely and look very nice. There are some hard plastics, but they don’t have that cheap look like some of the new Jetta surfaces. Overall the interior is great improvement and manages to capture some of that Beetle flavor without trying too hard to be retro (MINI comes to mind)…. [Read the rest here]