Volkswagen's 'New' Beetle has been acquiring crow's feet, self-injecting botox and boring younger cars senseless with talk of its ailments since 1998, but before it reaches retirement age, there's just enough time for it to pass the torch to a new New Beetle, unveiled today.
As you'll see from the pictures, the new New Beetle draws inspiration from the old (think Herbie) Beetle and the Beetle Ragster concept that was first spotted in January 2005. It's 152mm longer, 84mm wider and 12mm lower than the previous car, so it has a more aggressive look, yet is more practical thanks to 310 litres of boot space -- 101 litres more than the 1998 car.
The new New Beetle will come with a host of modern tech features. It'll have an optional sat-nav, keyless entry and LED daytime running lights -- items never seen before on previous Bugs. It'll be offered in three trim levels -- Beetle, Design and Sport, each of which offers different levels of equipment.
Power will be provided by a choice of three petrol engines -- a 1.2-litre TSI unit delivering 105PS (104bhp), a 1.4-litre TSI producing 160PS (158bhp) and a sportier 2-litre TSI developing 200PS (197bhp). Volkswagen will also offer a 105PS 1.6-litre BlueMotion diesel with a stop-start system that helps push fuel economy to 65.7mpg and carbon dioxide emissions to 112g/km.
The new New Beetle will be available in early 2012, though customers can pre-order the car in the UK starting this summer. That gives us plenty of time to get the old New Beetle sedated and settled into a retirement home.