One for the boys
VWis hoping that with the frilly bits gone, the blokes will be back
THE turbo badge and six-speed manual gearbox fitted to the new ‘‘ new’’ Volkswagen Beetle at the New York motor show say everything about the car.
Men are the target andVW is getting tough to lure them to the second remake of the 70-year-old original.
It has made the Beetle’s body longer, lower and wider to look more masculine. That answers criticisms of the 1998 model, aimed at younger women, which had pinched back-seat space, a small boot and was compromised sitting over the top of a Golf. The latest Beetle also features a more mainstream cabin design without the little dash vase tribute to the original.
It looks better and holds on to the rounded shape and includes fake running boards. It’s already confirmed for here in 2012 andVWbelieves it will be more popular than the car that brought the charismatic Beetle back from the dead.
‘‘ Right now the designers tried to make it actually more masculine, and I think the job is done,’’ says Anke Koeckler, Volkswagen Group Australia head and a strong supporter of the new design. ‘‘ We will have more men sitting in the car.’’
The Beetle’s mechanical details haven’t been released but already it is confirmed, as expected given the popularity of oil burners in Europe, with a range of petrol and diesel engines, both DSG and manual gearboxes and, for the moment, front-wheel drive.
In Australia, the runout of the existing Beetle has been going for some time and Koeckler reports current stock is becoming very short.
She is looking forward to a car that, with the sporty Scirocco coupe, can bring new customers to the brand.
‘‘ It’s such an iconic model . . . I think the product is looking quite promising for us.’’
Masculine: The longer, lower and wider Beetle and (below) the interior