Sunday, August 8, 2010

VW Beetle: Next generation will be radical

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Sources announced that the all-new Volkswagen Beetle to be launched at next year’s Detroit Motor Show will have a “radical design.”

These company sources told Autocar that VW didn’t stop with simply modifying the car’s styling. The designers of the Beetle were very daring in their attempt to make a totally fresh, modern take on the classic VW. Like the current Beetle, the car will be assembled at VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico, alongside the next Jetta. These two models have the same front-drive underpinnings and several driveline combinations. This provides the Beetle with a reworked chassis that has wider tracks and a longer wheelbase than today’s model.

Insiders claim that it will have better dynamics than the current model and will have a more compliant ride. Suspension is MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. For improved handling, the 210bhp 2.0-litre range-topper will have a multi-link rear.

The engines that will be offered include a 105bhp 1.2, a 160bhp 1.4 and a 210bhp 2.0 liter. The 170bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder will only be available in the US (and not in Europe). Diesels will include the new 105bhp 1.6 and a 140bhp 2.0 liter. There are also plans for a hybrid, which has a drivetrain similar to that of the Jetta CC from this year’s Detroit show — a 150bhp turbocharged/supercharged 1.4 with a 27bhp electric motor. The new Beetle will start selling in the UK in May 2011. About a year later, the cabriolet will follow.

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