Volkswagen went way back to the drawing board with its reimagining of the 2012 Beetle. The new Beetle--which is not to be called a "New Beetle"--draws its inspiration from the original car of 1938, but with a lower, flatter roofline. This gives the car a more aggressive stance. Overall dimensions have grown, which translates to more interior room for passengers. Those passengers get a combination of retro simplicity in the gauge layout, elegance in the quality of cabin materials and high-tech in the available gizmos and gadgets.
The Beetle comes in two basic trims--the base 2.5L and the Turbo. The base model utilizes a 170-hp, 2.5L 5-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a standard 5-speed manual. The Turbo delivers 200 hp from a 2.0L direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual. On 2.5 models, a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Sport mode is optional, while on the Turbo buyers can opt for a 6-speed direct-shift (DSG) automatic. The dual-clutch unit offers drivers both fully automatic or semi-manual control.
The Beetle shares its underpinnings with the new Jetta, which include front struts and a rear twist-beam axle. Steering-feel will feel very familiar to those who have driven previous New Beetles, though the driving experience has changed significantly, thanks to the revised A-pillar angle and accordingly the abbreviated dashboard. The effect is to bring the driver closer to the action.
Base trims come nicely equipped with cruise control, keyless entry, 3-color ambient lighting, 6-way adjustable and heated front seats and a 50/50 split folding rear seat. On the technology front, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a media device interface with iPod cable are also standard.
Base models can be equipped with a powered panoramic sunroof and a Fender premium sound system and navigation.
Turbo models add a rear spoiler, painted 4-wheel disc brakes with red calipers behind special 18-inch Twister alloy wheels, variable electromechanical power steering, front MacPherson struts and a Cross Differential System, which helps prevent inside wheelspin when cornering. Inside, accents such as brushed aluminum-look pedal covers, sport seats, the 8-speaker sound system of the base car, cloth seating and special interior trim pieces.
Safety comes standard as well in all 2012 Beetles, with anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags and combined curtain and side front seat airbags.
As they say, all good things must come to an end, and such is the case with the Volkswagen Beetle. Yes, after the 2019 model year, the iconic VW Bug is no more. And to commemorate the loss of one of the most recognizable cars on the planet, Volkswagen is pushing out two new Final Edition trims.
Volkswagen gave us the New Beetle in 1998, followed up by the lowercase-n new Beetle in 2011, the one off of which the Final Edition model is based.
The Final Edition Beetles are available in coupe or convertible body styles, with a couple of cues taken from the Última Edición -- the last gasp of the air-cooled Beetle that was sold in Mexico in 2003. That earlier last-hurrah Bug was only offered in beige and light blue, so the newer Final Editions get their own interpretations of those colors in the form of safari uni and stonewashed blue. You can also get the Final Edition in pure white, deep black or platinum gray, but what's the fun in that?
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