New VW Beetle makes debut at New York Auto Show

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A Lego version of the 1994 redesign of the Volkswagen Beetle, viewed at an angle from behind. The driver's door is open, revealing the steering while and driver's dash.

The new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will be sleek, stylish and have more horsepower than this Lego reproduction. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/The Brothers Brick)

Monday, Volkswagen introduced the new Beetle at the New York Auto Show. Although a price has yet to be announced, it is known that the 2012 VW Beetle redesign will appear in showrooms in October, reports AOL Autos. This will be only the third version of the German working-class subcompact car in its 90-year history.

From Adolph Hitler to American love bug

The original Volkswagen Beetle was commissioned by Adolph Hitler in 1938 and was meant to be Germany’s answer to America’s Ford Model-T. Less than 20 years later, it became one of the most beloved cars in the U.S., a testament to good engineering and adorable style’s power over divisive politics. It proved particularly popular with U.S. teachers, social workers and civil servants thanks to its working-class design.

With the new 2012 Beetle design, Volkswagen is looking to recapture the import status in the U.S. now held by Japanese automakers like Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

“The U.S. is the most important market for Beetle, and it is a critical part of the new chapter we are trying to write for Volkswagen in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning in a statement to the automotive press.

Bigger, yet still sleek and sporty

While larger than the two previous VW Beetle designs – the new Beetle is more than three inches wider and six inches longer than the 1994 Beetle design – the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will have more sleek, sporty features. According to AOL Autos, the new Beetle will also be lower to the ground and sport a 2.5 liter, 200 horsepower engine, with turbo-charged 2.0 liter gas and diesel alternatives. The automaker states that automatic and manual transmissions will be offered, and the diesel model will get 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway, for a combined fuel economy of 33 mpg.

The Super Bowl tease

An animated commercial spot that ran during the Super Bowl XLV telecast depicted a “Beetle” bug scuttering through a forest. This wasn’t the first tease for the new VW Beetle, however. In the Fall of 2010, VW offered Oprah Winfrey audience members 2012 Volkswagen Beetles during one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” pre-Christmas episodes. There was no 2012 Beetle on display for the episode; a 2009 model was used

Volkswagen going all-in with US

The German automaker’s commitment to success in the U.S. market is evident, as it will open a new assembly plant in Tennessee later this year, reports Jalopnik. Sadly, the new Beetle will not be made there, but in Puebla, Mexico. According to AOL Autos, the new Passat – VW’s main competition for the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion – is the model that will be assembled in the “Agriculture and Commerce” state.

Sources

AOL Autos

Jalopnik

Oprah’s ‘sneak peek’ at the new Beetle


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