A new New Beetle is hatching, writes Paul Gover
THE New Beetle is dead but will live again within 18 months. Volkswagen has just ended production of the rounded retrorunner but is already promising a new New Beetle will be ready for the road towards the end of next year.
Next time it will be much more focused than the original comeback car, which was basically a Beetle body slapped over the top of the mechanical package of the Golf.
Anke Koeckler, head of Volkswagen Group Australia, says: ‘‘The new beetle is coming next year. We’re planning it for next year.
‘‘We are going to have the talks in Germany next month and do the planning, and then we can decide exactly what time we want to introduce this car.
‘‘We have to do it properly. It’s not big volume, but it’s very important with the position and heritage for this iconic model.’’
The born-again Beetle has worked well for Volkswagen, particularly in the US. But Volkswagen is doing a lot of research on many projects, includ- ing the baby Up city car which should be ready for production next year. It may share parts with the new Golf.
Koeckler saysVW must stay true to the Beetle’s basic design for the new car, because it’s one of the world’s few signature shapes.
‘‘Everyone has a picture in their mind of the Beetle and of Volkswagen,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s always a bit difficult for this iconic model to make a big step forward and a change in the design. It might be a little bit more modern, but we will not change the concept of the design.’’
Though the new New Beetle is still secret, VW Australia is running out the last of its New Beetles with a special pack with bodywork painted black or orange.
‘‘We have this special model, but there are not many left. All the stock is with the dealers,’’ Koeckler says.
The BlackOrange cars are priced from $27,500 and come with 17-inch alloys on sports suspension, leatherette upholstery, cruise control, foglamps, tinted windows and alloy plating for the pedals with a leather steering wheel and shift knob.
Beetlemania: say ‘bye to the New Beetle, but a new New Beetle beckons.