Volkswagen Beetle News

The iconic original Beetle was made by Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003, although the German manufacturer ceased to offer the model for sale in Europe in 1985.  A new Beetle came along in 1998, with a design heavily inspired by the original model, and this model remained in production until 2010.

When the new Beetle was discontinued by Volkswagen in 2010, fans of the model waited expectantly for news of a replacement.  In April 2011, it was announced that a new model would be unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show later that month, with simultaneous events to celebrate the launch in New York and Berlin.  The events in Germany and the US would be in conjunction with music channel MTV, with Black Eyed Peas performing on stage in the Big Apple, and 2manydjs performing a set at the Berlin Event.  “The Beetle is an icon of the automotive world, just like MTV is an icon of the music world.”  explained Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing for the Volkswagen Group, “In the context of this marketing alliance, we are taking the new Volkswagen directly to our customers and fans of the Volkswagen brand - and we are doing it globally.  We are certain that the car's one-of-a-kind styling combined with the latest technology will be very well received by customers.”

In late April 2011, the covers were taken off the new Beetle, revealing a longer, wider, lower profile, although still retaining the iconic Beetle shape, and an increase in boot capacity over it predecessor.

Volkswagen announced UK order books for the new Beetle open in October 2011, along with confirmation of specification and trim levels for the UK models.  Volkswagen confirmed that vehicles ordered would have a projected delivery time of Spring 2012.

In November, a concept model called the Beetle R Concept was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  The engine specification was not revealed, but the external differences included larger front and rear bumpers, three chunky air-intakes, flared rear wings and a large rear spoiler, and 20-inch Talledega alloy wheels – as seen on the Golf R and Scirocco R – concealing blue painted brake callipers.

Good news came later in the same month, when Euro NCAP released the results of crash testing on the new Volkswagen Beetle.  The independent European consumer organisation announced that the new people had completed its programme with flying colours, achieving an overall 5-star safety rating.

Early 2012 saw two electric-powered concept models, called the e-Bugster, make their debuts.  The coupe was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show at the turn of the year, followed in April by the convertible version at the Beijing Motor Show in China.