The new Beetle has arrived in South Africa and Volkswagen claims that when it comes to styling this new model is more in line with the original people’s car, first introduced in 1938, particularly with its retro touches aimed at â€œre-igniting the passion of the original Beetleâ€.
The new-generation Beetle sports a similar long front and short back look seen on the original and now also features a flat roofline, a more steeply angled rear window and, of course, the famous round headlamps synonymous with this car.
Get inside and you’ll find more details that make you think of the original. These include the slightly oversized centrally-mounted speedo and panel for the glove box. Everything else is similar to what you’ll find in a modern VW product. Volkswagen claims that the interior is more driver-oriented, sporty and practical.
Built in Brazil on a modified Golf 6 platform, the new Beetle is longer (+152 mm), wider (+84 mm) and lower (-12 mm) than the previous model. It can accommodate four adults and the boot can handle 310 dm3 worth of luggage with all seats in place – with up to 905 dm3 of luggage with the rear seats folded flat (50:50 split).
Two TSI petrol engines are available at launch â€“ a 1,2-litre and a 1,4-litre. The former pushes out 77 kW at 5 000 r/min and has 175 N/m of torque available from just 1 550 r/min. The 1,4-litre has 118 kW and 240 N.m. Both engines are mated with a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed DSG will be available, mated with the larger of the two engine options, from November.
The 1,2 comes with the Design specification, while the 1,4 is offered with Sport trim. Visually, the two can be distinguished by a rear spoiler on the Sport model, different wheels, aluminum pedals and leather seats in the Sport versus cloth items in the Design, and finally by the colour-coding of the front interior panel â€“ the Design gets a body-coloured panel, while the Sport features piano black.
Safety features across the range include dual front, side, curtain and thorax airbags, ABS, ESP and hill hold.
Beetle 1,2 TSI Design â€“ R235 400
Beetle 1,4 TSI Sport â€“ R296 600
Beetle 1,4 TSI Sport DSG â€“ R311 100
All models feature a 3-year/120 000 km warranty and 5-year/90 000 km service plan.