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Coming to America: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is all-new without the pretense *UPDATE — Autoblog

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Apr 18th 2011 at 9:27AM



<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2p0PTbyPA7c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Those lucky Oprah fans who were fortunate enough to be given a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle all those months ago now know what their new set of wheels will look like. Volkswagen has officially yanked back the sheets on the latest take on the 2012 Beetle. Longer and wider than its predecessor, the German automaker says that the vehicle's designers were inspired by the lines of the original Beetle. As a result, there's more than a little Ragster Concept thrown into the mix with a longer roof line and a more aggressively-raked windshield.

The look isn't quite what we expected after seeing spy shots of the car frolicking around in the sun. It would seem VW pulled a fast one on us by fitting the 2012 mule with last-generation taillights at the time, as the new one features larger magnet-like units that give the 2012 model's rump a radically different look.

The production vehicle boasts seating for four, though the back bench can be folded to allow for more cargo room in a pinch. European buyers will have their choice of four engines ranging from an efficient 1.2-liter gasoline mill to a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a 1.6-liter turbo diesel. At this point, it isn't yet official which exactly which of those will make their way across the Pond, but we're guessing all three, as VW has previously stated that it will bring a TDI to the States – and even offer it in a Cabriolet model.

The 1.6-liter turbo diesel engine delivers around 105 horsepower while returning 65.7 mpg on the EU scale thanks to a start/stop and intelligent battery regeneration system. That equals out to around 54 mpg on the U.S. cycle, though the EPA may have something different to say should the oil burner show up in the States.

YouTube - Volkswagen Beetle 2012 First Official Promo

On the more entertaining end of the spectrum, Volkswagen is also offering the 2012 Beetle with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with around 200 horsepower. Like the Golf GTI, that powerplant will benefit from a transmission with an XDS electronic differential lock as standard equipment.

The new Beetle will debut this week at the Shanghai Motor Show and also at the New York Auto Show, so expect live shots and feedback from us shortly.
 

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I'd drive it
 
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