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VW Set to Debut Beetle Turbo Diesel in Chicago

Diesel cabrio to follow.

by on Jan.19, 2012

The 2013 VW Beetle TDI will play a different tune with a diesel expected to deliver over 40 mpg.

Volkswagen will introduce the most fuel-efficiency version of the Bug ever at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show, where it plans to unveil the 2013 VW Beetle TDI.

The move is no surprise. While most makers are still debating whether or not to add oil-burners to their line-ups, the Germans have scored big success stories with the technology – especially Volkswagen, which currently produces about 75% of the diesels sold in the U.S.

While the maker is keeping details close to the vest in order to have a few secrets to reveal in the Windy City expectations are that the Beetle TDI will share the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four as the diesel versions of the Golf, Jetta and new Volkswagen Passat.  That would translate into something around 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.

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The maker is expected to offer buyers a six-speed stick, as well as an option six-speed DSG gearbox.

Rated at 43 mpg in the Passat (while, curiously, the highway ratings are just 42 mpg in the Golf and Jetta), the Beetle TDI should be in the 40+ mpg range.


First Drive: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Forward into the past.

by on Jul.15, 2011

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle may be a very modern car but its heritage design is unmistakable.

Less flower, more power.  That’s the message Volkswagen hopes to get out as it prepares for the upcoming launch of the third-generation Volkswagen Beetle.

As unlikely as it might seem, that’s not a typo.  Since the original “people’s car,” or Volkswagen, was introduced in the dark days before the Second World War, it has gone through any number of refinements, but only two complete updates.  And the last time VW revealed a redesign it wound up with the New Beetle, an insufferably sweet “chick car” that largely alienated the male half of the automotive buying public.

Not so this time, as VW emphasized during a global launch, last April, and at this week’s first drive in Berlin.  Along with the flower vase, the maker has abandoned the semi-circular shape of the New Beetle, the “21st Century Beetle” adopting what designers like to call a heritage design.

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Sitting side-by-side in the German capital’s Potsdamer Platz, it’s easy to see the influence of the original Beetle, the longest-lived and best-selling car in global automotive history.  The new model regains the classic silhouette, with its long, rounded snout and a lower, more aggressive roof-line.  Aggressive is the active word, for VW, which believes the new edition can appeal to both men and women with its more sporty look.


First Look: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

The Bug is back.

by on Apr.18, 2011

VW returns to a more classic design with the 2012 Beetle.

It’s been nearly three-quarters of a century since the first Volkswagen Beetle made its debut – and more than a decade since the German maker unveiled the current Bug.  So there’s been plenty of anticipation building for the all-new model getting its global launch this week.

In an unusual, multi-city event linking New York, Shanghai and Berlin, Volkswagen today revealed an all-new “people’s car” that picks up on many of the cues of the original Beetle first launched in 1938.

Only the third complete remake in the model’s history, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will be displayed at both the New York and Shanghai auto shows, this week, as well as in Germany, where the original model was conceived as a low-cost way to put people on wheels.

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The look of the new car returns to the sort of 2-box design that gave the first-generation car such longevity.  The 1998 remake, while clearly influenced by the pre-War design, opted for a semi-circular shape that proved extremely polarizing.

“The new model should be able to help them attract the male buyers that didn’t warm up” to the model soon to go out of production, suggested Dave Sullivan, an automotive analyst with AutoPacific, Inc.


VW Plans Global Reveal of “21st Century Beetle”

MTV-aired event will spread from Shanghai to Berlin and the Big Apple.

by on Apr.04, 2011

Volkswagen is teaming up with MTV to give the "21st Century Beetle" a global launch.

Volkswagen has some big plans in store for the upcoming launch of the long-awaited Beetle replacement – and it is turning to MTV to ensure that it hits as many potential buyers as possible in its target audience.

The April 18th unveiling will actually take place in three cities: Shanghai, Berlin and New York, with concerts being broadcast from each event and featuring an assortment of artists including the wildly popular Black Eyed Peas.  MTV expects collective highlights to be the most widely distributed version of its World Stage program ever aired – and carried live on the Internet.

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“In the context of this marketing alliance, we are taking the new Volkswagen directly to customers and fans of the Volkswagen brand – and we are doing it globally,” said Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing, Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Brand Passenger Cars. “We are certain that the car’s one-of-a-kind styling combined with the latest technology will be very well received by customers.”

Dubbed the “21st Century Beetle,” Volkswagen’s new small car will attempt to pump some life back into a line that has faded to little more than an asterisk on the sales charts over the last several years.  Equally important, the maker hopes to build popularity for the next Beetle on a global level.  The outgoing model initially drew strong demand in the U.S. but failed to click back in Germany and the rest of Europe.