Few cars have left as indelible a mark on the public consciousness as the Volkswagen Beetle. What began as an economy car 60-plus years ago evolved into a worldwide icon through the 1970s and then returned as the 1998-2010 New Beetle. The all-new 2012 VW Beetle puts a new twist on a classic design with advanced technology and dynamic new powertrains.
If you’re of a mind that a car that’s fun to drive also should be fun just to look at, then you owe it to yourself to take a good long look at the 2012 VW Beetle. You might be surprised to learn that the completely redesigned 2012 VW Beetle (MSRP starting at $19,795) much more closely resembles the “original” Beetle than the New Beetle did. The profile and proportions of the 2012 version nearly duplicate those of the original, a change that yields a larger cabin and trunk than the New Beetle offered.
Anyone who remembers playing “Punch Buggy” on family road trips will recognize another homage to the classic Beetle in the 2012 2.5L trim’s standard wheels. Thoroughly modern in cast aluminum alloy, these 17-inch Heritage Wheels are styled to look like the slotted steel wheel and hubcap combination used on the 1970s Beetle.
There’s a lot more “new” to the 2012 VW Beetle story. Under the déjà vu design of the 2012 VW Beetle lurksthe mechanical makings of an ideal everyday car and a fun-to-drive sports coupe, all in the same package. Wider and longer than its predecessor model, the 2012 VW Beetle manages to slice a half-inch of height while adding nearly that amount to rear-seat headroom. Other interior dimensions are also increased, and the 15.4-cubic-foot trunk rivals midsize sedan trunks for practicality. A wider trunk opening and new split/folding rear seat also help to make the 2012 Beetle more practical than many competing two-doors.
With a standard 170-hp inline five-cylinder engine and choice of five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® manual shifting and Sport mode, the 2012 VW Beetle 2.5L trim certainly delivers sports coupe driving fun. Go from zero-to-60 mph in just eight seconds, or kick it up several notches with the Beetle Turbo. A 2.0-liter 200-hp TSI® (Turbocharged Stratified Injection) engine makes this the quickest production Beetle ever, with zero-to-60 mph in just 6.8 seconds.
Matching the engine for sporty behavior, the 2012 VW Beetle Turbo chassis features an independent rear suspension system, larger brakes and wheels, and the limited-slip XDS® Cross Differential System.
The 2012 VW Beetle Turbo comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, and its optional offering is the six-speed dual-clutch DSG®
automatic, also with Tiptronic®
and Sport mode, that executes lightning-quick shifts whether in automatic mode or being shifted manually with steering wheel paddles. The DSG operates more efficiently than conventional automatic transmissions, a key reason why the powerful 2012 Beetle Turbo with this option returns 30 mpg on the highway. Hyper-milers also get their due with a Beetle TDI®
Clean Diesel model, arriving this summer.
The Beetle interior combines modern design with cheerful classic touches incorporated into the shapes and colors used for the dashboard. You won’t find any retro technology in the dashboard, however. Powerful sound systems work strictly with CDs and digital music files, and the available Fender® Premium Audio System packs 400 watts of output and a subwoofer, along with special door speakers that create directional sound.
There is one more bit of VW Beetle heritage, and that’s in the 2012 model’s great value. The Beetle 2.5L comes with such standard amenities as heated front seats, one-touch up/down power windows, V-Tex leatherette seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod cable.
You’ve probably been charmed by watching a 2012 VW Beetle drive by. Now, come in and experience the fun of driving one.