The NEW 2012 Bug!

SAN DIEGO, CA. Bug! is whipping the covers off the 2012 Beetle.

The two-door hatchback, planned for North American sale beginning in September, continues with the retro-inspired appearance of its direct predecessor. The separate fenders have tauter surfacing, crisper feature lines, squarer bumpers, altered detailing and a more rakish roofline.

The look, developed under Volkswagen Group design boss Walter de Silva and VW brand boss Klaus Bischoff, recalls many of the cues revealed on the Ragster concept first wheeled out at the 2005 Detroit auto show.

Among the car’s new features are LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlamps and larger wheels–the latter of which can be specified up to 19 inches. At 168.4 inches long, 71.2 inches wide and and 58.5 inches tall, the new Beetle is a considerable 6 inches longer and 3.3 inches wider–but a half-inch lower than the outgoing model, which has accounted for more than 1 million sales globally since its introduction in 1998.

Inside, there’s a redesigned dashboard that is said to provide the car with a more conventional driving position. The outgoing Beetle was criticized for its deep dashboard, something that imbued it with an upright, MPV-like driving environment.

Greg Kable – Autoweek 2011

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