Beetle Cabriolet

Volkswagen unveiled the latest generation Beetle in Shanghai on the eve of the city’s motor show in April 2011, marking a new era in this iconic car’s history. When the original was launched in 1938, it was known simply as ‘the Volkswagen’, quickly acquiring a raft of nicknames from across the world. Whatever the name, its popularity is not in question, with 21.5 million sold over 73 years.

In the latest generation, efficient engines and innovative features combine with heritage to make a modern classic. The design moves away from that of the New Beetle of 1998 and instead draws on cues from the original and Beetle Ragster concept shown in Detroit in 2005. As such it’s longer, wider and lower, giving a more masculine and dynamic appearance.

The Beetle Dune, a distinct crossover model, joined the Beetle Coupe and the Beetle Cabriolet in early 2016. This stylish addition to the Beetle range is available as a coupe or a cabriolet, and it trades on the famous ‘Baja Bugs’ that are vividly associated with west coast America.

Indeed, styling inside and out helps the Beetle Dune stand out from the crowd. Its adventurous character is emphasised by a large silver-framed central air inlet and a black honeycomb grille. In profile, the black wheel well and body extensions contrast with the eye-catching paint colours. In addition, black side trim strips – stylised ‘Beetle running boards’ – and ‘Dune’ badging underscore the dynamic image of the Dune. At the rear, a large spoiler and new LED lights create a futuristic look.

Just a couple of months after the introduction of the Dune, the complete Beetle range received a facelift. The more aggressive front end was joined by revised interior styling. The Volkswagen Beetle’s distinctive cabin was given brighter instrument panel lighting, new dials and dash styling. New upholstery materials brought further styling options.

At the same time, the range was revised with the introduction of the Beetle R-Line. The Beetle R-Line is distinct in that it has a body-coloured rear diffuser and chromed twin exhausts. And the R-Line’s exterior styling includes gloss black door mirrors and door protectors, not to mention a rear tailgate spoiler.

The Beetle measures 4,278 mm in length (+152 mm compared to the previous generation New Beetle), 1,808 mm in width (+84 mm) and 1,486 in height (-12 mm). The track width front and rear, as well as the wheelbase at 2,537 mm, are also increased. Overseen by Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand), with Marc Lichte the team leader for exterior design, the car’s new proportions mean the roof extends back further, the windscreen is shifted back and the rear section is now more akin to that of the original Beetle. The boot capacity is a practical 310 litres, up from 209 litres in the 1998 model. The Beetle has four seats, with a split-fold rear seat for added versatility.

Inside the cabin, the Beetle’s designers created a modern, practical and distinctive appearance with easy to identify and ergonomic controls. Certain features, such as the glovebox and colour accent panels (on Design models) hark back to the original.

Three ‘standard’ trim levels are available – Beetle, Design and R-Line – and each is endowed with its own individual character and features. A wide range of innovative optional equipment is also available, ranging from keyless entry through satellite navigation systems to Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.

The ‘Fender’ premium soundpack is an exciting option that was added to the Beetle range in 2011. Developed in conjunction with the legendary electric guitar firm of the same name, this audiophile’s delight offers a 400 W output and a subwoofer, along with switchable three-colour illumination surrounding the front loudspeakers.

In the UK, a choice of four engines is available: two petrol – a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS – and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel that’s available with 110 PS or 150 PS. All engines come equipped with Start/Stop Technology, which reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

As well as being economical and environmentally sound, the Beetle is also built to be one of the safest cars on the road thanks not only to features such as standard ESP and four airbags but also a laser-welded and galvanised body structure which has one of the highest torsional rigidity values in the segment at 26,000 Nm/?. This was recognised by Euro NCAP which awarded the Beetle its top five star safety rating in 2011.

The Beetle went on sale in North America in autumn 2011, followed by mainland Europe. UK Retailers began taking orders for the Beetle in October 2011, with the first customer deliveries taking place in April 2012. The Beetle Dune went on sale on 5 April 2016 and the revised range, with the facelift, went on sale on 28 July 2016.

SUMMARY

? Beetle made its debut at Shanghai Motor Show in April 2011; on sale in US and Germany from October 2011; mainland Europe from November and UK from April 2012

? Over 22.5 million Beetles have been sold since the original model was created in 1938, putting it among the world’s top three most successful cars of all time; over one million of these were New Beetles, of which over 68,000 were sold in the UK

? All new generation Beetle models are front-wheel drive, front engined and have three doors and four seats

? Created by a team led by Walter de Silva (Group Design Chief) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand Head of Design), the latest Beetle is substantially longer, wider and lower than the outgoing car and on a marginally longer wheelbase, meaning it looks more sporty, masculine and dynamic

? New proportions and design break with those of the 1998 version with longer bonnet and the steeper inclined windscreen moved back, making the latest model more akin to the 1938 original or the Ragster concept shown in Detroit in 1995

? Beetle Dune went on sale in April 2016 and the complete line-up received a facelift in July 2016, with the R-Line added to the range

? Dimensions are: length 4,278 mm (+152 mm); width 1,808 mm (+84); height

 1,486 mm (-12); wheelbase 2,537 mm (+22); while track widths have also increased by 63 mm to 1,578 mm at the front and by 49 mm to 1,544 mm at the rear

? Cargo capacity has increased and ranges from 310 litres to 905 litres with split/folding rear bench folded (previously 209/769)

? Four versions are available, two petrol and two diesel. A 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS, plus a 2.0-litre TDI with a choice of 110 PS or 150 PS

? On the road, new suspension contributes to more dynamic driving performance than in the previous model. A very lightweight strut type set-up at the front is completed by semi-independent rear suspension

? Trim levels are defined as ‘Beetle’, ‘Design’, ‘R-Line’ and ‘Dune’. All have a high level of equipment including air conditioning and DAB radio; alloy wheels, multi-function leather steering wheel, MDI (multi-device interface), Bluetooth and colour  co-ordinated dash and door panels on Design; and 2Zone air conditioning, parking sensors and gloss black wing mirrors on R-Line

? Safety is a priority with twin front and side airbags, plus ABS and ESC all standard. What’s more, the Beetle’s body is largely laser-welded and galvanised meaning it has one of the best torsional rigidity values in the segment at 26,000 Nm/?

? Inside, the Beetle has an all new design; the bud vase is gone; the second glovebox integrated into the facia with an upward folding lid (familiar to those who know the air-cooled version) is back. Ergonomic and easy to read, all dials and controls are within easy reach and sight

? A range of optional items, including sat nav systems, keyless entry and start,  Bi-xenon headlights, parking sensors and a Fender premium soundpack are available for the first time on the Beetle

? Beetle continues to be built at Volkswagen’s Puebla plant in Mexico, alongside the Jetta, Golf and Golf Estate                      

 

Production

The Beetle is produced at the Volkswagen de México plant and headquarters in Puebla – the capital of the federal state of the same name, 75 miles south-east of Mexico City – alongside the Jetta, Golf Mk VII and Golf Estate as well as a number of engine variants for self-supply and delivery to all Volkswagen automobile factories in America.

The plant occupies 3,000,000 m2 with about 550,000 m2 of building space. In January 2011, the cornerstone was laid for a new engine plant in Silao, in the central-Mexican state of Guanajuato. Now operational, the plant employs around 575 people. The Volkswagen facility in Puebla is the biggest automobile factory in Mexico. All the processes needed for complete car production, including the machining and assembly of engine and axle parts and the stamping of car body parts take place here. In 2016, about 415,000 vehicles were produced in Puebla. About 80 per cent of this volume was exported.

Volkswagen de México is one of the biggest employers in the country, with about 14,600 staff in 2016. In order to develop the abilities of its employees, Volkswagen has a special school for training and further education (Volkswagen Institute). As a part of this Institute, Volkswagen has a Language School which provides services not only for Volkswagen employees, but also for external clients through its different offices in the city. The core part of the programme is technical education through the German dual-system and production technicians are trained here for three years. This educational offer is also available to other selected companies, among them primarily suppliers.

The economical impact of Volkswagen for the Puebla and Tlaxcala states lies not only in the plant itself but also in the presence of more than 50 auto parts suppliers in a 31 mile radius. Twenty of the most important suppliers are located in industrial parks next to the plant, facilitating just-in-time delivery to the assembly line.

The history of Volkswagen in Mexico began in 1954 with the first imported Classic Beetle. The company Volkswagen de México was founded in 1964 as a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. The first Beetle left the assembly line in Puebla on March 23, 1967. On 31 July 2003, the world’s last Classic Beetle was produced in Mexico. A limited edition of 3,000 special models was launched as the worthy farewell for this history-making car. In four decades, 1,691,542 of these cars were produced in Mexico, contributing to a total of 21,529,464 ‘bugs’ sold worldwide since 1946.

Next to the plant is the Volkswagen Service Centre, which delivers and services around 70 cars per day mainly for company employees. This Service Centre also provides advice and support to the dealership network of the Volkswagen Group in Mexico.

In the Mexican market, Volkswagen de México represents not only the Volkswagen Brand, but also SEAT, Audi, Bentley and Porsche. The range also includes heavy trucks up to 23 tons, which are assembled in Mexico from part kits from Brazil. The Volkswagen brand is present all over the country with 169 dealerships. In addition, SEAT has 51, Audi 26, Porsche seven and Bentley one sales and service facility.

Volkswagen de México makes an important contribution to the Mexican economy, as a key source of employment and exports. Moreover, Volkswagen is committed to the support of socially relevant issues. Employees and the company have donated more than 1.5 million dollars to sponsor social projects for needy children in the Puebla State in the past eight years. In 2005, Volkswagen de México created an award to fund investigation and conservation of biodiversity in Mexico. And since 2008, the company has been funding a long term reforestation programme contributing to the conservation of water reserves in the Puebla area. In 2013, the new engine plant in Silao started production, while in the same year the total number of Volkswagens built in Mexico since 1964 surpassed 10 million.

 

DESIGN

Objectives and exterior

In setting their prime objective for designing the new Beetle, the team, led by Volkswagen Design Chief Walter de Silva (Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand), was to create a ‘new original’. They liken it to redesigning the Coke bottle, the iPhone, Ray Ban Aviators, and say it is possible – but in order to do so you must understand the product and the brand.

The team also knew that they wanted to incorporate the original Beetle’s profile more than they had with the 1998 New Beetle, and to get back to the car’s roots. Many of the design team – young and old – actually own original Beetles and so it is no coincidence that if you placed the original and 2011 models side by side and illuminated their roof lines to view their silhouettes, you would see nearly identical lines in the rear sections.

By contrast, a comparison to the 1998 New Beetle shows that nothing has remained the same. Bischoff explains: ‘The Beetle is now characterised by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness. The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front bonnet is longer, the front windscreen is shifted further back and has a much more swept-back angle. All of this creates a new dynamism.’

While the New Beetle was defined by three semicircles – front wing, rear wing, domed roof – the new model has broken free of this geometry. The roof profile now runs distinctly lower and can be considered a continuation of the Ragster concept car shown in Detroit in 2005 – a type of hot rod based on the New Beetle. The Beetle is now bolder, more dynamic and more masculine.

The new car is 1,808 mm wide (gain of 84 mm), 1,486 mm high (12 mm lower) and 4,278 mm long (gain of 152 mm). This has resulted in entirely new proportions. The gain in length meant that the roof could be extended further, the front windscreen could be shifted back, and the rear section could follow the contour of the original Beetle. The new focal point is the C-pillar. In parallel, the development team increased the car’s track widths and wheelbase, all of which gives the Beetle a powerful appearance with muscular tension.

The facelift that took effect in the middle of 2016 built on the sharp proportions of the latest Beetle. The changes include a more sculptured body and a fresh interior design. Sharpened lines for the front bumpers and larger openings around the indicator and fog light surrounds give extra depth to the car’s appearance. Meanwhile, the new Beetle R-Line trim has a more sporty bumper design unique to that model. It features extra air intake openings along the upper edge of the bumper.

All of the Beetle’s typical styling characteristics have been preserved, and this should come as no surprise; after all, it was vehicles like the Beetle, Microbus and original Golf that had a decisive influence on Volkswagen’s ‘design DNA’. Of course, some of the Beetle’s longstanding characteristics remain: these include its flared wings and the clean design of its rear lights, the shape of the bonnet, the side and door sills and – more than ever – its ability to integrate large wheels (up to 19-inch).

The Sport trim from the pre-facelift Beetle featured a rear spoiler, and this has also been incorporated into the R-Line model. The top surface of the rear spoiler is always black, while its underside is painted in the same colour as the body.

Another aspect of Volkswagen’s design DNA is that the car should not only look good, but should also offer exceptionally good functionality. The two doors open wide, but they are not too long, making it easy to open them, even in tight parking spaces. The Beetle is the only Volkswagen to be equipped with round headlights. For the first time, bi-xenon headlights are available; mercury-free xenon gas discharge lamps with a power consumption of 25 watts per headlight are used for the projection module and when these are specified, daytime running lights are also included, each of which consists of 15 LEDs arranged along the outer border of the headlight housing.

In the space where the original Beetle once had its engine, there is now a bootlid which swivels upwards – together with the rear windscreen – when it is opened, making space for ample luggage or shopping (310 to 905 litres of cargo capacity). Located on either side of the bootlid are the rear lights, which, as on all Volkswagens, exhibit an unmistakable night look (c-shaped). The basic shape of the lights is integrated in the design of the flared rear wings, while the lights themselves are fully designed in dark red – except for two small white areas for the indicator and reversing lights.

In order to allow Beetle customers to personalise their cars, 12 colours are available, and on certain trim levels, this colour-coding can also be transferred to the car’s interior.

 

Interior

In summing up his view on the interior, Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand says: ‘My team has achieved a noteworthy coup with the Beetle: its interior design is as unique as it is unmistakable, and very much a Beetle design, just like the car’s exterior styling.’ An interior space has been created that is marked by a love for details, that is perceived as a genuine tribute to the Beetle, and that melds high-tech and classic elements in a new way. Above all, it is an interior that fits the car and is unlike anything else currently on offer in the automotive world.

Its many details make the interior refreshingly unique. There is the swept-back front windscreen; the instrument panel that combines innovative technologies and controls with painted surfaces; and a glovebox in the style of that in the original air-cooled Beetle. But no bud vase. The car offers ample space and comfort for four people, as well as a maximum cargo capacity of 905 litres.

As already mentioned, there is an array of colour options available for the Beetle’s exterior – and also for the interior. On the entry-level model (Beetle) and top-of-the-range R-Line, the facia, dash and door panels are Gloss Black, but on the mid-level Design versions, it is body-coloured.

Not only is the paint offered in a variety of hues; the Beetle is the first Volkswagen to be available with the option of three colour ambient lighting. To the right of the steering wheel, there is not only a small wheel for controlling the brightness of the instrument backlighting, but also a second one showing “0”, “R”, “W” and “B” which controls the colours to give the interior a hint of red, white or blue. The indirect lighting itself is located in the door trim panels, while direct lighting is implemented as a light ring around the door-mounted loudspeakers. Ambient lighting is offered as a pack in combination with the Fender premium sound system.

Every element of the interior has been redesigned, and all instruments and controls are designed to be clear, easy to find and read and ergonomically optimised. In front of the driver, three round instruments (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge) supply all of the key information and in the central speedometer dial there is a multifunction display. From Design up, the adjustable air vents and instruments have chrome bezels. This also applies to the audio/navigation systems that are located in the driver’s visual field on the dashboard, framed by two air vents. Beneath this are the temperature control panel, also redesigned, a central switch bar for the hazard lights and finally the gear shift grip with the engine start button (if specified).

Like the original Beetle, the new car has an extra glovebox integrated in the front facia whose lid folds upwards (the standard glovebox that is also integrated opens downward).

A distinguishing feature of the Beetle is that its interior ergonomics and packaging are based on completely new parameters. While drivers in the air-cooled Beetle travelled in a very low-slung seat, and drivers of the New Beetle felt as if they were seated very far back, the latest Beetle offers a sporty driving position with all features and controls, including the gear shift, intuitively in the ‘right’ place.

If the panoramic tilt/slide sunroof is specified, the controls for this are found in the roof area. The round turning knob is used to adjust the opening of the transparent roof in various stages, while pressing the other control initiates the tilt function.

In front, the four-seater Beetle is now somewhat lower in profile, since the domed roof of its predecessor has been eliminated. It now offers 1,005 mm interior height (with panoramic sunroof: 1,000 mm) compared to the previous 1,082 mm. Meanwhile, in the rear seating area, the longer roof section results in a distinctly enhanced feeling of space. Available here – with or without the panoramic roof – are 942 mm, which is around 10 mm more than on the previous model. Legroom has also increased in the rear to 797 mm while the Beetle also exhibits a noticeable growth in interior width (front: 1,459 mm / rear: 1,308 mm). What’s more, the Beetle has a completely redesigned seating system, which makes a substantial contribution towards the car’s high level of comfort, especially on long journeys.

Also beneficial for long touring journeys is the increased bootspace which now has a significantly larger capacity measuring 310 litres instead of 209. When the standard split rear bench is folded down, cargo capacity increases to 905 litres, and it is easy to load through the wide opening bootlid. Since the Beetle uses a platform that is technically closely related to that of the Golf Mk VI (shortened by 50 mm), the track widths and pass-through width also increased in the boot. The boot length is 838 mm when the rear bench seatback is up; when it is folded down the length is 1,493 mm. What’s more, practical bag hooks in the walls of the boot help in both small and large everyday transport tasks.

Climate control

All Beetle and Design models have standard Climatic semi-automatic climate control, allowing passengers to select a desired cabin temperature which is then maintained automatically, whatever the outside temperature.

Optional on Design and standard on R-Line is 2Zone electronic climate control, a fully automatic air conditioning system which allows driver and front-seat passenger to adjust their own climates individually and independently. Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.

 

ENGINES

Four power units are available for the Beetle, two petrol and two diesel. These are a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS, and a 2.0-litre TDI with either 110 PS or 150 PS. Volkswagen’s Start/Stop Technology is found in each engine, with modifications reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

The technically advanced designs of the TSI and common rail TDI powerplants result in class-leading efficiency and therefore lower carbon dioxide (CO?) emissions. Naturally, they all comply with the relevant Euro6 emissions requirements.

Petrol engines

TSI technology

The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines. These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity. Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply supercharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute. This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds. As a bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

TSI technology has received international acclaim. It was named Best New Engine in the 2006 International Engine of the Year Awards, since which it has won a number of high profile accolades.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS

 Despite its small cubic capacity – and thanks to TSI technology – this turbocharged unit produces peak power of 105 PS at 4,500-5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 175 Nm (129 lbs ft) at 1,400-4,000 rpm. With the optional seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, the sprint to 62 mph takes just 10.9 seconds and top speed is 112 mph.

This engine features two valves per cylinder, operated by low-friction roller-rockers and extensive use of lightweight materials including plastics. This results in high fuel efficiency and a weight of just 94 kg (per DIN70020-GZ). Combined economy and carbon dioxide emissions figures are 54.3 mpg and 121 g/km (with DSG gearbox).

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

This 1.4-litre TSI unit uses supercharging and turbocharging to produce an impressive 160 PS at 5,000-6,000 rpm and 250 Nm (185 lbs ft) of torque at 1,500-3,500 rpm. It is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. This Beetle completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.7 seconds and has a top speed of 126 mph. Combined economy is 49.6 mpg, while CO? emissions are 132 g/km.

Diesel engines

Both the Beetle’s diesel engines use common rail technology, comply with Euro6 emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which reduces particulate emissions to below five mg/km. All are refined, economical and clean as well as good to drive.

Using a common rail system, the diesel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to 1,600 bar. Piezo actuators control multiple injections with highly precise fuel quantities and timing. In an effort to reduce internal engine friction, crankshaft, valve and oil pump drives were optimised, while a square bore/stroke ratio minimises friction losses at the cylinder liners.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS

The diesel line-up starts with a 110 PS unit that is available in the Design trim. Peak power is available at 3,500 rpm, while torque reaches 185 Nm (250 lbs ft) between 1,500-3,000 rpm. The zero to 62 mph sprint takes 11 seconds with both the five-speed manual and the seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes. The combined fuel consumption for the manual is 65.7 mpg with CO? emissions of 113 g/km. Those figures compare to the DSG’s 62.8 mpg and 119 g/km.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

This popular diesel engine offers customers a powerful – 150 PS at 3,500 rpm – yet frugal option. Maximum torque of 340 Nm (251 lbs ft) is delivered between 1,750 to 3,000 rpm, standstill to 62 mph takes 8.9 seconds, and top speed is 125 mph (124 for DSG). This engine is available with a six-speed manual or DSG automatic transmission. Combined consumption is an impressive 62.8 mpg (58.9 DSG) while carbon dioxide emissions are low at 119 g/km (126 DSG).

Start/Stop Technology

All the Beetle engines are designated Start/Stop Technology variants. Start/Stop Technology models are a range of vehicles developed by Volkswagen that strike a balance between the highly focussed BlueMotion vehicles (in Polo, Golf and Passat) and the conventional products on which they are based. The range combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet remain practical and stylish as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

The breadth of Start/Stop Technology modifications varies from range to range. In the Beetle, it will incorporate Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems, as well as low rolling resistance tyres. The battery regeneration system is designed to help utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery. Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at constant speed. It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

The Beetle’s automatic Start/Stop system will be operated through the clutch pedal. When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral. When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display. In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically. The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.    

Gearboxes

Six-speed manual

Manual Beetle models have a standard six-speed gearbox (five-speed in Design trim with 110 PS diesel engine) featuring a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with very short lever movements. Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action. Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption.

DSG – automatic gearbox

Launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.

The six-speed DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears. Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur. This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.

Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.

Another world-first for Volkswagen, is a seven-speed version of its DSG transmission which uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance. The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system. Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact.

In adopting seven speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill. By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent. The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil. As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators. Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the new seven-speed system.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Beetle. They can choose Fixed or Flexible Servicing and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 (approx.) miles a year and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

? Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts

? Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing

? Driving with high rpm, heavy acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months.

The Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner. In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With Flexible Service, it can be possible to drive for up to 20,000 miles or 24 months without a major service.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

 

RUNNING GEAR

Front and rear axle

At the front, Beetle models use a strut-type suspension with helical springs and telescoping dampers; while at the rear a newly developed suspension with lightweight construction assists the car’s handling properties. Transverse forces are supported by an anti-roll bar here. The very lightweight running gear concept also offers excellent driving stability when the car is fully loaded.

Electro-mechanical power steering

 All Beetles, regardless of power output employ an electro-mechanical power steering system which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds. Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Braking system

The Beetle is equipped with a sophisticated braking system using ventilated discs at the front, ranging in diameter from 280 mm to 312, and solid discs of 272 mm on the rear axle. ABS, ESP (Electronic Stability Control) and Hydraulic Brake Assist are fitted as standard across the range.

ESC – Electronic Stability Control

The latest-generation ESC is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide. Should this situation occur, ESC reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power. In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend. In such circumstances ESC can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. The latest generation of ESC fitted to the Beetle has a finer response and counter-steering recommendation.

HBA – Hydraulic Brake Assist

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop. In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions. The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Hill hold function

All Beetle models have a standard hill hold function. The system is useful when the car stops for short periods such as in heavy town traffic or on a long incline. The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest, preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards for around two seconds.    

 

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Beetle is available in four trim levels, called simply Beetle, Design, R-Line and Dune. Specification highlights are listed below; for full details please see the price list.

Beetle

Engine:

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS 6-speed manual

This model has the following standard features:

? ABS anti-lock brakes with Hydraulic Brake Assist

? ESC (Electronic Stability Control), including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (traction control)

? driver and front passenger airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch

? combined curtain and side impact airbag system for front occupants

? driver and front passenger whiplash-optimised head restraints

? three-point seatbelts and head restraints for both rear passengers

? Isofix child seat preparation for two rear seats

? warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened

? remote control central locking

? body-coloured bumpers and door mirror housings with integrated indicators

? electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors

? front electric windows

? 6½J x 16-inch steel wheels with 215/60 R16 tyres

? steel space saver spare wheel

? front comfort seats with height adjustment

? height and reach adjustable steering column

? front centre armrest with storage compartment

? multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption

? Composition Media infotainment system with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, MP3 playback, CD player with six speakers. USB connectivity and SD card reader

? glovebox

? secondary upwards-opening storage compartment in dashpad

? 12V socket in centre console x2

? split fold rear seat backrest (50:50)

? Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning

? hill hold function

? Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

? Brake pad wear indicator

? Heated rear windscreen

? Tyre pressure loss indicator

? Halogen clear headlights

? Tinted rear light clusters

? Battery regeneration (recuperation – energy recovery during braking)

? Start/Stop function

? Power-assisted speed-sensitive steering

? Warning ‘lights on’ buzzer

 

Design

Engines:

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS 6-speed manual

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS 5-speed manual or 7-speed DSG

On top of the items listed for the entry-level Beetle, Design adds:

? 7J x 17-inch ‘Orbit’ alloy wheels with chrome effect rims, 215/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? Composition Media system (in addition to Composition Colour system), including 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, AUX-in socket, Multi Device Interface via USB connection, Simultaneous pairing of two mobile devices, SMS functionality and eight speakers, front and rear

? body-coloured door handles and chrome exterior trim including front louvre

? body-coloured door protectors with chrome insert

? chrome strop on side window base

? front air intake with chrome trimmed louvre

? front fog lights, including static cornering function

? rear tailgate spoiler (1.4-litre TSI 150 PS only)

? twin exhaust tailpipe on left of vehicle (on 1.4 TSI 150 PS and 2.0 TDI 150 PS)

? body-coloured dashpad and interior door panels

? carpet mats, front and rear

? chrome trimmed air vent surrounds, décor rings, instrument cluster and radio surround

? leather trimmed gear knob and handbrake grip

? leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with body-coloured inserts

? ‘Platinum Grey’ centre console

R-Line

Engine:

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG

At the top of the Beetle range, R-Line models gain:

? 8J x 18-inch ‘Twister’ alloy wheels with 235/45 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? ‘Gloss Black’ door mirror surrounds with integrated indicators

? ‘Gloss Black’ door sill protection with chrome inserts

? Rear tailgate spoiler and rear tinted glass from B pillar backwards

? ‘R-Line’ styling pack – ‘R-Line’ design front and rear bumpers, radiator grille and side skirts plus unique ‘R-Line’ badging

? Twin exhaust tailpipe, on left of vehicle

? Aluminium-look pedals – clutch, brake and accelerator

? Door sill protectors, aluminium with ‘R-Line’ logo

? ‘Gloss Black’ dashpad and interior door panels

? Leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘Gloss Black’ inserts, ‘R-Line’ logo and contrast stitching

? Paddle shift (DSG only)

? Climate control – 2Zone electric air conditioning with automatic air recirculation

? Cruise control

? Parking sensors, front and rear – ultrasonic, audible with warning signal

? Sports instrument dials

 

Dune

Engines:

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG

The Beetle Dune crossover adds the following to the Design specification:

? 8J x 18-inch ‘Mythos’ alloy wheels with 235/45 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? Increased ground clearance, raised by approx. 10 mm

? Black grained lower door protectors

? ‘Dune’ decals on door panels

? ‘Dune’ styling pack – uniquely shaped off-road front and rear bumpers and honeycomb front air intake

? Rear diffuser in ‘Reflex Silver’

? Rear extended tailgate spoiler

? Rear lights incorporating LED technology

? ‘Reflex Silver’ door mirrors with integrated indicator

? ‘Reflex Silver’ side sill protection with matt black grained inserts

? ‘Reflex Silver’ underbody styling trims

? Twin exhaust pipe on left of vehicle (2.0 TDI 150 PS only)

? Wheel arch protection, matt black grained

? Carpet mats front and rear with ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching

? ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching on leather trimmed handbrake grip

? ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching on leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘Gloss Black’ inserts and ‘Dune’ logo

? Front centre armrest with ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching

? Paddle shift (auto DSG only)

? Unique ‘Dune’ gear lever knob

? Rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror

? Automatic coming/leaving home lighting function

? Dusk sensor, automatic driving lights

? Parking sensors, front and rear – ultrasonic, audible

? Sports instrument dials

The Volkswagen Beetle Dune

The Volkswagen Beetle is renowned as an automotive style icon with, perhaps, the most well-known silhouette of any modern car. Original Beetles have been modified in small numbers over the years to suit specialist drivers’ requirements and among the most famous of these are the ‘Baja Bugs’ vividly associated with west coast America.

The spirit of those original conversions is rekindled in the modern Beetle range with the exciting Beetle Dune. Engineered and styled to pay tribute to those off-road heroes, and with a ride height raised 10 mm compared with the standard car, the Beetle Dune is designed to offer a vibrant new dimension to the existing Beetle line-up.

The Beetle Dune went on sale in the UK on 5 April 2016 through the Volkswagen UK Retailer network, with deliveries starting in June 2016.

The Beetle Dune’s rugged looks are enhanced via 18-inch ‘Mythos’ alloy wheels, front and rear wheelarch extensions and bold new bumper designs. Beetle Dune customers have a choice of Coupe or Cabriolet versions, while a selection of five body colours complement the car’s eye-catching styling. The Sandstorm Yellow metallic and Dark Bronze metallic, in particular, have been developed exclusively for the Beetle Dune. Other colour options include Deep Black pearlescent, Black (non-metallic) and Pure White (non-metallic). Parts of the dash and door panels also share the exterior body colour.

Indeed, styling inside and out helps the Dune stand out from the crowd. Its adventurous character is emphasised by a large silver-framed central air inlet and a black honeycomb grille. In profile, the black wheel well and body extensions contrast with the eye-catching paint colours. In addition, black side trim strips – stylised ‘Beetle running boards’ – and ‘Dune’ badging underscore the dynamic image of the latest Beetle. At the rear, a large spoiler and new LED lights create a futuristic look.

Inside, extensive use of contrast ‘Turmeric’ stitching on the sport seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and parking brake grip help define the Dune while contrasting areas of the seat system, door trim panels, roof pillars and headlining are finished in black.

The generously equipped Beetle Dune is based on the existing Beetle’s Design trim level which means a comprehensive selection of technology and creature comforts as standard. Among the highlights is the Composition Media system which includes 6.5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth telephone connection, DAB digital radio receiver, dash-mounted single CD player, MDI (Multi Device Interface) via USB connection, SMS messaging functionality and eight speakers. Standard-fit technology also includes a Light and Sight pack comprising auto dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights and rain sensing wipers, while convenience is enhanced by ultrasonic parking sensors front and rear.

A multifunction leather steering wheel with decorative 'Dune' insert and contrast 'Tumeric' stitching, leather-clad handbrake with contrast stitching and carpet mats front and rear with 'Tumeric' contrast stitching continue the Dune’s bespoke look.  ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning keeps things comfortably cool inside.

Safety is enhanced via ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) fitted as standard and the Beetle Dune Cabriolet has rollover protection. In addition, all Beetles have Isofix child seat preparation for two rear child seats, tyre pressure loss indicator and a comprehensive suite of airbags.

The Beetle Dune is powered by a choice of two engines. The 1.2-litre petrol TSI engine develops 105 PS and is available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox. With both options, the hatch model accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 11.3 seconds. The 2.0-litre TDI develops 150 PS and comes with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed auto DSG gearboxes and, in the hatch version, reaches 62 mph in 9.2 seconds. Top speeds, where legal, vary from 110 mph for the petrol manual to 124 mph for the diesel manual.

Fuel economy ranges from 51.4 mpg (combined) for the 1.2 TSI manual to 62.8 mpg (combined) for the 2.0 TDI manual while CO2 emissions range from 119 g/km to 126 g/km depending on engine and gearbox choice.

Today’s production Beetle Dune was presented to the world as a concept car at the Detroit Motor Show in 2014. The concept’s off-road interpretation of the classic Beetle design attracted global interest, and was itself a highly successful development of an earlier concept car revealed in Los Angeles in 2000.

 

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS AND TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Beetle, allowing buyers to create a bespoke car to suit their needs and tastes. These include a winter pack, satellite navigation systems, bi-xenon headlights, a Fender premium soundpack, paddle shift operation for DSG models and leather upholstery. Other ‘simple’ personalisation touches are available, for example, both Design and R-Line models are offered with 17-inch ‘Rotor’ and 18-inch ‘Discus’ wheels as a no cost option. For full details of pricing and availability, please see the latest price list.

Keyless entry

The Beetle is offered with a keyless entry, start and exit system. When one of the new design door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle. The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation. The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Beetle. If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser and the anti-theft alarm system, and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button. Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car. For example, to protect children, the Beetle cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle. It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control. From inside the car, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle. The Beetle can be unlocked and locked by remote control.

Light and sight pack

This pack includes the useful options of an automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror, a rain sensor, a dusk sensor (automatic headlights) and a coming/leaving home lighting function.

The self-dimming rear view mirror uses LCD technology to sense when the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver. The mirrors react by dimming automatically, in a similar way to light-sensitive sunglasses. Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and readjust when appropriate.

Automatic windscreen wipers are also included. Here, a rain sensor positioned ahead of the interior rear-view mirror on the windscreen activates the wiper system as required. An infrared beam is reflected in different ways according to the pattern of moisture landing on a windscreen sensor. Signals from the sensor are used to control the wipers. When the wiper control is set to the normal ‘Intermittent’ position the wipers are automatically controlled from ‘off’ when the screen is dry through different delay intervals of intermittent wipe and on to two speeds of continuous operation.

The dusk sensor detects light levels and automatically turns on your headlights when light is low, thus increasing safety. The dusk sensor system is fitted behind the internal mirror. It will turn on the dipped headlights whenever conditions demand, such as when driving through a tunnel. The headlights must be switched to 'auto' for the dusk sensors to work. They turn off automatically once the car is back in regular light.

The 'coming home' and 'leaving home' functions are designed to improve convenience and comfort. When the driver leaves their Beetle, various lights, including the dipped-beam headlights, courtesy lights in the exterior mirrors, rear lights and number-plate lighting, all stay on for a short while before they are switched off automatically. The same lights are switched on when the car is unlocked with the remote control. In this way the car's lights help to illuminate the way to and from the front door, whenever the driver arrives or sets off in the dark.

Bi-xenon headlights

Ultra-efficient gas discharge (Bi-xenon) headlights are offered as an option for the first time on the Beetle. These provide a well-focused, blue-white light which is more powerful than standard lights.

Parking sensors

Standard on R-Line and Dune, and optional on Beetle and Design, are front and rear parking sensors which allow objects and vehicles behind the car to be pinpointed. The system produces an audible warning signal to guide the driver up to a safe distance to any objects behind, along with a visual indication via the audio system display. Not only does this help to avoid car park knocks, it could also prevent accidents, for example, if a child runs out who may not have been seen.

Fender premium soundpack

The Beetle is the only vehicle in Europe available with a Fender premium sound system (available as an option on Design, R-Line and Dune). This pack comprises two tweeters in the mirror triangle and rear side trim, and a subwoofer located in a closed bass box in the boot. At the heart of the system is a 10 channel amplifier with eight speakers delivering a 400 Watt output, while ambient lighting around the speakers and door panels adds to the relaxed atmosphere. Fender logos on the speakers complete this package for the audiophile.

Telephone preparation

Design, R-Line and Dune models come with standard preparation for Bluetooth HFP (Hands Free Profile) enabled telephones. Here, the driver’s mobile phone is integrated into the vehicle’s systems without it being removed from a jacket pocket, for example. The actual mobile phone functions in the car are dealt with by a fixed telephone installation that obtains the necessary data from the SIM card of the mobile phone. The telephone is controlled using the radio system and the optional multifunction steering wheel (standard on Design, R-Line and Dune models).

Composition Media system

Standard from the entry-level Beetle trim is the Composition Media system. The installation uses a 6.5-inch touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information. Key features include a CD drive for audio discs, playback with title display for MP3 files and an integrated SD memory card reader from which files can be retrieved.

Discover Navigation touchscreen satellite navigation/radio system

Also available on all Beetles for a premium over the Composition Media system is the Discover Navigation satellite navigation system. This features a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen.

The navigation functions using the rear ABS wheel sensors to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning. Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System). The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

In addition to the satellite navigation, this system comes with a three-year subscription to Volkswagen’s ‘Car-Net’ Guide and Inform system. This provides online access to a range of information, including traffic, fuel pricing, parking space availability, weather and news feeds.

 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Volkswagen engineers designed the Beetle to be one of the safest cars in terms of both active and passive safety. Naturally, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is standard (see Running Gear section for more details), as is an effective network of front and side airbags that protects in the passenger compartment. The car body – much of it laser-welded and galvanised – exhibits one of the best torsional rigidity values in the segment at 26,000 Nm/º.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System

Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the cervical spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents. Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints. The latest generation of WOKS is now implemented as standard on the two front seats of the Beetle.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body. Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here. In related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Child safety

Two Isofix child seat preparation points are standard in the rear of all Beetle models, enabling the secure anchoring of a compatible child seat.

Euro NCAP test results

The overall package of occupant, child and pedestrian protection and the safety assistance systems installed in the Beetle were evaluated by the European consumer protection organisation Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) in 2011, and the car scored the top five-star rating.

In occupant protection too, the vehicle attained a five-star rating. Factored into the rating were results of frontal and side impact tests, a pole side impact test and what is known as a whiplash test – which determines loads to the cervical spine of the neck. The Beetle also achieved excellent child protection results with dummies representing 18 month and three-year-old children.

The Beetle was also awarded very impressive results in the area of safety equipment. Here, Euro NCAP rated the standard seat belt reminders for all seats and standard use of a vehicle dynamic control system (ESC) as especially positive.

Euro NCAP is a manufacturer independent international crash test programme. After the Golf, Golf Cabriolet, Jetta, Passat, Polo, Scirocco, Sharan and Tiguan, the up! and Beetle became the ninth and 10th vehicles from Volkswagen to earn a top ‘5 star’ rating from Euro NCAP.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its extensive security and safety features, the Beetle has secured the following insurance group ratings (out of 50) from the ABI (Association of British Insurers). The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

Beetle Coupe

Beetle

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    13E

Design

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    15E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      14E

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS Manual    20E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS Manual    14E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS DSG      14E

 

R-Line

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    21E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      21E

 

Dune

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    15E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      15E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    21E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      21E

 

Beetle Cabriolet

Beetle

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    16E

Design

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    17E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      17E

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS Manual    22E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS Manual    16E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS DSG      16E

 

R-Line

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    23E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      23E

 

Dune

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    17E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      17E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    23E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      23E

 

WARRANTIES

The Beetle has a three year, 60,000 mile warranty (first and second year with unlimited mileage manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated). In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Roadside Assistance which provides vehicle home and roadside recovery in the unlikely event of a breakdown in the UK or Europe. Further and extended warranty and assistance cover can also be purchased if required.

HISTORY

Few vehicles have a history like that of the Beetle, and even fewer have so many personal stories attached to them. Below is a chronology of key dates in the car’s long history.

The Beetle 1934-2003

1934

On June 22, the ‘Reichsverband der Deutschen Automobilindustrie’ (RDA) (National Association the German Automobile Industry) commissions Ferdinand Porsche with the design of a ‘people’s car’ or ‘Volkswagen’.

1935

The first prototype, with air-cooled boxer engine, 22.5 hp and 700 cc is developed. Two additional vehicles are built.

1936

The prototype, with three copies built, is designated the V 3. On February 24, RDA members are presented with one sedan and one convertible version in Berlin. From October 22 until December 22, each vehicle covers around 50,000 kilometers (over 30,000 miles).

1937

For continuous load tests, the RDA has 30 vehicles built, which cover a total of 2.4 million test kilometers (almost 1.5 million miles).

1938

After further reworking, the series model 38 emerges, the first to have the characteristic ‘pretzel’ window, running boards and bumpers. The car with the air-cooled, four-cylinder Boxer engine, with an engine capacity of 986 cc and 24 hp, weighs 750 kg (over 1,600 lbs). With a sedan, convertible and sedan with cloth sunroof, three model variations were presented.

1945

In August, the British military authority commissions the existing Volkswagen factory, managed by the British Major Ivan Hirst, with the delivery of 20,000 sedans. In December 1945, VW Beetle series production begins; 55 vehicles are assembled.

1946

The 10,000th Volkswagen is produced on 14 October.

1947

Of the 8,987 sedans manufactured in this year, the first vehicles are exported to the Netherlands.

1948

The 25,000th Volkswagen leaves the line in May. Monthly vehicle production climbs from 1,185 cars in May to 2,306 in December.

1949

On January 8, the first two sedans are shipped from the Netherlands to the USA. On May 13, the 50,000th Volkswagen since the end of the war is produced. On June 1, the ‘Export Model’ is presented, which differs from the standard model with its comfortable interior and extra chrome plating. The four-seater convertible Type 15, with body from the Karmann Company and based on the Volkswagen export model, also premiers.

1950

Starting in April, the Volkswagen is also available with a folding top at an extra charge. The hydraulic foot brake is introduced.

1951

The Volkswagen is already being exported to 29 countries. In October, the production mark of 250,000 is exceeded. The basic model is given side ventilation flaps at the front of the car. The export model now displays the Wolfsburg coat of arms on the front trunk, telescopic shock absorbers replace the lever shock absorbers.

1952

Starting in October, the most important innovations on the export model are the hinged swivel windows in the doors, a synchronised transmission and 15-inch rims.

1953

The ‘pretzel’ windows are replaced with larger oval ones on March 10. The 500,000th Volkswagen rolls off the line on July 3. Exports are now sent to 86 countries.

1954

In January, the 30 hp engine is demonstrated; it allows a top speed of 110 km/h.

1955

One million Volkswagens have been finished as of August 8. The Volkswagen receives a few new additions: PVC sunroof, dual exhaust, new rear lights.

1956

In addition to tubeless tires, the vehicle receives reinforced engine compartment insulation, a more powerful windshield wiper motor and a stronger starter.

1957

The Volkswagen receives a larger rear window and a newly designed instrument panel.

1958

The driver's side is given a large side mirror.

1959

The doors are given fixed handles with integrated pushbuttons. In August, the new export model is introduced - the VW 1200 with 34 hp engine and fully synchronised four-speed transmission. In addition, the standard and export models receive: turn signals instead of turn indicators, a trunk that is 65 per cent larger, a windshield washer and asymmetric headlights.

1961

The export model is equipped with pneumatic windshield wipers. The standard model receives a hydraulic foot brake.

1962

The 5,000,000th VW Beetle rolls off the assembly line. The cloth sunroof is replaced by a steel sliding roof.

1964

With the formation of ‘Volkswagen de México, S.A. de C.V.’ in Mexico City, Volkswagen makes the transition from vehicle assembly to production. In November, the standard model receives a fully synchronised transmission and the new designation, VW 1200 A. On December 1, mass production begins in the Emden Volkswagen plant.

1965

The standard model 1200 A receives a 34 hp engine. The new export model, VW 1300, with 40 hp engine, comes on the market.

1966

The standard model VW 1300 A replaces the 1200 A. It is available with 34 and

 40 hp engines. Door and ignition locks can be operated with the same key. In July, production of the VW 1200 A is suspended. In August, the VW 1500 has 44 hp and front disc brakes.

1967

The 10,000,000th Beetle is produced. The ‘Economy Beetle’ VW 1200 with 34 hp engine is available starting in January. Vehicle safety is improved by the introduction of the safety steering column and three-point seat belts. Model VW 1500 is offered with automatic transmission and semi-trailing arm rear axle.

1968

The Volkswagen officially becomes a Beetle in its advertising.

1969

Introduction of the VW 1300 L with custom features.

1970

Introduction of models 1302 (34 and 40 hp) and 1302 S (50 hp) with front spring struts and double-jointed rear axle. The Volkswagen 1302 is also built as a convertible version. VW 1500 production ends in July.

1971

The rear window is enlarged again.

1972

On February 17, the former production record held by the Model T Ford is broken with the 15,007,034th Beetle produced. In August, production begins on the ‘Panorama Beetle’ VW 1303 with 44 and 50 hp engines, which replaces the VW 1302. The VW 1300 S with 1.6-liter engine is introduced.

1973

Volkswagen releases more special models: Jeans Beetle, Big Beetle ‘yellow-black racer’, City Beetle. VW 1300 production ends in July. The model VW 1303 A is introduced in August. The 1303 convertible is presented.

1974

At 11:19 a.m. on July 1, the last Beetle rolls off the line at the original Wolfsburg plant. In August, production of the VW 1303 A is suspended.

1975

The last VW 1303 is produced in July.

1978

The last Beetle built in Germany rolls off the line in the Emden plant on January 19. All told, 16,255,500 Beetles were built in Germany. Overseas, more than 1,000 Beetles are produced each day. The Mexico Beetle is a VW 1200 L with 34 hp engine.

1980

On January 10, the last Beetle convertible rolls off the line at Karmann in Osnabrück.

 A total of 330,281 convertibles were produced.    

1981

On May 15, the 20,000,000th Beetle is produced at ‘Volkswagen de México’ in Puebla. The ‘Silver Bug’ anniversary model is offered.

1984

The 100,000th export Beetle is produced in Mexico.

1985

On August 12, the last ship with a load of Beetles arrives in Emden.

1992

The Mexico Beetle is equipped with a catalytic converter and Lambda probe. The 21,000,000th Beetle is produced in Mexico on May 23.

2002

On June 25, Golf production figures pass the Beetle, with 21,517,415 units. The Golf takes over the title of most-built Volkswagen model from the Beetle.

2003

The last Beetle manufactured by Volkswagen rolls off the line at ‘Volkswagen de México’ in Puebla/Mexico in July.

The New Beetle 1991-2011

January 1991

Volkswagen Group opens a design studio in California’s Simi Valley, north of Los Angeles. Its task at this focal point of modern life is to identify international trends at an early stage and to develop visions, in particular for the American market.

September 1991

The team becomes aware that Volkswagen’s success in North America is intimately linked with its successful Beetle. The young team of designers begins to design possible versions of a “New Beetle”.

May 1993

The Californian studio shows its first quarter-scale models to the Volkswagen Board of Management. The decision is taken to build a full-scale Beetle design study for the next Detroit Motor Show. Work begins in complete secrecy.

January 1994

The Concept 1 design study is the undisputed star of the Detroit Motor Show. American Volkswagen dealers vote unanimously for the new car to go into production.

March 1994

There is a surprise appearance of a Concept 1 at the Geneva Motor Show, now in convertible form. The applause it earned led to announcement that production of a “New Beetle” was looking likely.

October 1995

A re-dimensioned version of the Concept 1, looking near-ready for production and incorporating front-wheel drive, is exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show.

November 1995

With world expectation surrounding the car growing, the data control model is approved and final features of the design fixed. Volkswagen’s Mexican plant in Puebla is chosen to manufacture the new model because of its close proximity to North America.

March 1996

The New Beetle is officially named at the Geneva Motor Show with the showing of a further development of the design seen at Tokyo. New Beetle website launched.

January 1998

The New Beetle, now in production form, returns to the Detroit Motor Show. The fantastic reaction to the car from the media and the public leads Volkswagen to revise its initial target production figure from 500 to 600 cars per day.

October 1998

The New Beetle makes its European debut at the Paris Motor Show with sales scheduled to begin in Germany two months later.

January 1999

Volkswagen shows the Beetle RSI design study at Detroit as an example of the potential for the model. No official word is given on the powertrain of the dramatically-styled car except that it incorporates Volkswagen’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive system and has a V6 engine. New Beetle receives the North American Car of the Year Award.

April 1999

The New Beetle arrives in UK showrooms in left-hand drive form to satisfy huge demand for the car.

January 2000

The first right-hand drive models arrive in the UK. Demand is such that UK allocation is increased from 5,000 to 8,000 units in the year 2000.

August 2000

New Beetle 1.6-litre is introduced.

April 2001

New Beetle 1.8T and V5 are introduced (V5 Sport Edition in February 2002).

January 2002

First diesel New Beetle, 1.9 TDI with 100 PS, is launched.

April 2003

New Beetle Cabriolet is introduced.

June 2003

Entry-level 1.4-litre 75 PS New Beetle launched.

January 2005

New Beetle Ragster Study revealed at Detroit Auto Show.

September 2005

New Beetle is facelifted and enhanced with new lights, bumpers and wheelarches.

 Euro 4-compliant 1.9-litre TDI 105 PS engine replaces previous diesel.

July 2007

One millionth New Beetle produced.

February 2008

Tenth anniversary of the New Beetle celebrated in Puebla, Mexico.

The Beetle 2011- present

April 2011

Latest Beetle model makes public debut at Shanghai Motor Show.

July 2011

Production of the new model begins at Puebla, Mexico.

October 2011

UK Retailers begin taking orders for the Beetle ahead of launch in spring 2012.

November 2011

Beetle R Concept is revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

January 2012

All electric version of the Beetle – the E-Bugster – makes its debut at the North American International Automobile Show in Detroit.

June 2014

Volkswagen Beetle Dune, launched in at the Detroit Show in January, makes an appearance on the roads of Sylt in Germany. While still a concept car, it is almost production-ready.

April 2016

Beetle Dune joins the range. The charismatic new Volkswagen harks back to the famous Beetle dune buggies that roamed the West Coast of America in the 1960s and 1970s. Crossover styling and bright colours mark it out as a distinctive derivative of the Beetle.

July 2016

Complete Beetle range is facelifted, with a more sculptured body, particularly at the front, and a fresh interior design. Beetle R-Line joins the range in place of the Sport trim.

(ends)

Beetle /JB-06-17

Volkswagen unveiled the latest generation Beetle in Shanghai on the eve of the city’s motor show in April 2011, marking a new era in this iconic car’s history. When the original was launched in 1938, it was known simply as ‘the Volkswagen’, quickly acquiring a raft of nicknames from across the world. Whatever the name, its popularity is not in question, with 21.5 million sold over 73 years.

In the latest generation, efficient engines and innovative features combine with heritage to make a modern classic. The design moves away from that of the New Beetle of 1998 and instead draws on cues from the original and Beetle Ragster concept shown in Detroit in 2005. As such it’s longer, wider and lower, giving a more masculine and dynamic appearance.

The Beetle Dune, a distinct crossover model, joined the Beetle Coupe and the Beetle Cabriolet in early 2016. This stylish addition to the Beetle range is available as a coupe or a cabriolet, and it trades on the famous ‘Baja Bugs’ that are vividly associated with west coast America.

Indeed, styling inside and out helps the Beetle Dune stand out from the crowd. Its adventurous character is emphasised by a large silver-framed central air inlet and a black honeycomb grille. In profile, the black wheel well and body extensions contrast with the eye-catching paint colours. In addition, black side trim strips – stylised ‘Beetle running boards’ – and ‘Dune’ badging underscore the dynamic image of the Dune. At the rear, a large spoiler and new LED lights create a futuristic look.

Just a couple of months after the introduction of the Dune, the complete Beetle range received a facelift. The more aggressive front end was joined by revised interior styling. The Volkswagen Beetle’s distinctive cabin was given brighter instrument panel lighting, new dials and dash styling. New upholstery materials brought further styling options.

At the same time, the range was revised with the introduction of the Beetle R-Line. The Beetle R-Line is distinct in that it has a body-coloured rear diffuser and chromed twin exhausts. And the R-Line’s exterior styling includes gloss black door mirrors and door protectors, not to mention a rear tailgate spoiler.

The Beetle measures 4,278 mm in length (+152 mm compared to the previous generation New Beetle), 1,808 mm in width (+84 mm) and 1,486 in height (-12 mm). The track width front and rear, as well as the wheelbase at 2,537 mm, are also increased. Overseen by Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand), with Marc Lichte the team leader for exterior design, the car’s new proportions mean the roof extends back further, the windscreen is shifted back and the rear section is now more akin to that of the original Beetle. The boot capacity is a practical 310 litres, up from 209 litres in the 1998 model. The Beetle has four seats, with a split-fold rear seat for added versatility.

Inside the cabin, the Beetle’s designers created a modern, practical and distinctive appearance with easy to identify and ergonomic controls. Certain features, such as the glovebox and colour accent panels (on Design models) hark back to the original.

Three ‘standard’ trim levels are available – Beetle, Design and R-Line – and each is endowed with its own individual character and features. A wide range of innovative optional equipment is also available, ranging from keyless entry through satellite navigation systems to Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.

The ‘Fender’ premium soundpack is an exciting option that was added to the Beetle range in 2011. Developed in conjunction with the legendary electric guitar firm of the same name, this audiophile’s delight offers a 400 W output and a subwoofer, along with switchable three-colour illumination surrounding the front loudspeakers.

In the UK, a choice of four engines is available: two petrol – a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS – and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel that’s available with 110 PS or 150 PS. All engines come equipped with Start/Stop Technology, which reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

As well as being economical and environmentally sound, the Beetle is also built to be one of the safest cars on the road thanks not only to features such as standard ESP and four airbags but also a laser-welded and galvanised body structure which has one of the highest torsional rigidity values in the segment at 26,000 Nm/?. This was recognised by Euro NCAP which awarded the Beetle its top five star safety rating in 2011.

The Beetle went on sale in North America in autumn 2011, followed by mainland Europe. UK Retailers began taking orders for the Beetle in October 2011, with the first customer deliveries taking place in April 2012. The Beetle Dune went on sale on 5 April 2016 and the revised range, with the facelift, went on sale on 28 July 2016.

SUMMARY

? Beetle made its debut at Shanghai Motor Show in April 2011; on sale in US and Germany from October 2011; mainland Europe from November and UK from April 2012

? Over 22.5 million Beetles have been sold since the original model was created in 1938, putting it among the world’s top three most successful cars of all time; over one million of these were New Beetles, of which over 68,000 were sold in the UK

? All new generation Beetle models are front-wheel drive, front engined and have three doors and four seats

? Created by a team led by Walter de Silva (Group Design Chief) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand Head of Design), the latest Beetle is substantially longer, wider and lower than the outgoing car and on a marginally longer wheelbase, meaning it looks more sporty, masculine and dynamic

? New proportions and design break with those of the 1998 version with longer bonnet and the steeper inclined windscreen moved back, making the latest model more akin to the 1938 original or the Ragster concept shown in Detroit in 1995

? Beetle Dune went on sale in April 2016 and the complete line-up received a facelift in July 2016, with the R-Line added to the range

? Dimensions are: length 4,278 mm (+152 mm); width 1,808 mm (+84); height

 1,486 mm (-12); wheelbase 2,537 mm (+22); while track widths have also increased by 63 mm to 1,578 mm at the front and by 49 mm to 1,544 mm at the rear

? Cargo capacity has increased and ranges from 310 litres to 905 litres with split/folding rear bench folded (previously 209/769)

? Four versions are available, two petrol and two diesel. A 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS, plus a 2.0-litre TDI with a choice of 110 PS or 150 PS

? On the road, new suspension contributes to more dynamic driving performance than in the previous model. A very lightweight strut type set-up at the front is completed by semi-independent rear suspension

? Trim levels are defined as ‘Beetle’, ‘Design’, ‘R-Line’ and ‘Dune’. All have a high level of equipment including air conditioning and DAB radio; alloy wheels, multi-function leather steering wheel, MDI (multi-device interface), Bluetooth and colour  co-ordinated dash and door panels on Design; and 2Zone air conditioning, parking sensors and gloss black wing mirrors on R-Line

? Safety is a priority with twin front and side airbags, plus ABS and ESC all standard. What’s more, the Beetle’s body is largely laser-welded and galvanised meaning it has one of the best torsional rigidity values in the segment at 26,000 Nm/?

? Inside, the Beetle has an all new design; the bud vase is gone; the second glovebox integrated into the facia with an upward folding lid (familiar to those who know the air-cooled version) is back. Ergonomic and easy to read, all dials and controls are within easy reach and sight

? A range of optional items, including sat nav systems, keyless entry and start,  Bi-xenon headlights, parking sensors and a Fender premium soundpack are available for the first time on the Beetle

? Beetle continues to be built at Volkswagen’s Puebla plant in Mexico, alongside the Jetta, Golf and Golf Estate                      

 

Production

The Beetle is produced at the Volkswagen de México plant and headquarters in Puebla – the capital of the federal state of the same name, 75 miles south-east of Mexico City – alongside the Jetta, Golf Mk VII and Golf Estate as well as a number of engine variants for self-supply and delivery to all Volkswagen automobile factories in America.

The plant occupies 3,000,000 m2 with about 550,000 m2 of building space. In January 2011, the cornerstone was laid for a new engine plant in Silao, in the central-Mexican state of Guanajuato. Now operational, the plant employs around 575 people. The Volkswagen facility in Puebla is the biggest automobile factory in Mexico. All the processes needed for complete car production, including the machining and assembly of engine and axle parts and the stamping of car body parts take place here. In 2016, about 415,000 vehicles were produced in Puebla. About 80 per cent of this volume was exported.

Volkswagen de México is one of the biggest employers in the country, with about 14,600 staff in 2016. In order to develop the abilities of its employees, Volkswagen has a special school for training and further education (Volkswagen Institute). As a part of this Institute, Volkswagen has a Language School which provides services not only for Volkswagen employees, but also for external clients through its different offices in the city. The core part of the programme is technical education through the German dual-system and production technicians are trained here for three years. This educational offer is also available to other selected companies, among them primarily suppliers.

The economical impact of Volkswagen for the Puebla and Tlaxcala states lies not only in the plant itself but also in the presence of more than 50 auto parts suppliers in a 31 mile radius. Twenty of the most important suppliers are located in industrial parks next to the plant, facilitating just-in-time delivery to the assembly line.

The history of Volkswagen in Mexico began in 1954 with the first imported Classic Beetle. The company Volkswagen de México was founded in 1964 as a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. The first Beetle left the assembly line in Puebla on March 23, 1967. On 31 July 2003, the world’s last Classic Beetle was produced in Mexico. A limited edition of 3,000 special models was launched as the worthy farewell for this history-making car. In four decades, 1,691,542 of these cars were produced in Mexico, contributing to a total of 21,529,464 ‘bugs’ sold worldwide since 1946.

Next to the plant is the Volkswagen Service Centre, which delivers and services around 70 cars per day mainly for company employees. This Service Centre also provides advice and support to the dealership network of the Volkswagen Group in Mexico.

In the Mexican market, Volkswagen de México represents not only the Volkswagen Brand, but also SEAT, Audi, Bentley and Porsche. The range also includes heavy trucks up to 23 tons, which are assembled in Mexico from part kits from Brazil. The Volkswagen brand is present all over the country with 169 dealerships. In addition, SEAT has 51, Audi 26, Porsche seven and Bentley one sales and service facility.

Volkswagen de México makes an important contribution to the Mexican economy, as a key source of employment and exports. Moreover, Volkswagen is committed to the support of socially relevant issues. Employees and the company have donated more than 1.5 million dollars to sponsor social projects for needy children in the Puebla State in the past eight years. In 2005, Volkswagen de México created an award to fund investigation and conservation of biodiversity in Mexico. And since 2008, the company has been funding a long term reforestation programme contributing to the conservation of water reserves in the Puebla area. In 2013, the new engine plant in Silao started production, while in the same year the total number of Volkswagens built in Mexico since 1964 surpassed 10 million.

 

DESIGN

Objectives and exterior

In setting their prime objective for designing the new Beetle, the team, led by Volkswagen Design Chief Walter de Silva (Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand), was to create a ‘new original’. They liken it to redesigning the Coke bottle, the iPhone, Ray Ban Aviators, and say it is possible – but in order to do so you must understand the product and the brand.

The team also knew that they wanted to incorporate the original Beetle’s profile more than they had with the 1998 New Beetle, and to get back to the car’s roots. Many of the design team – young and old – actually own original Beetles and so it is no coincidence that if you placed the original and 2011 models side by side and illuminated their roof lines to view their silhouettes, you would see nearly identical lines in the rear sections.

By contrast, a comparison to the 1998 New Beetle shows that nothing has remained the same. Bischoff explains: ‘The Beetle is now characterised by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness. The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front bonnet is longer, the front windscreen is shifted further back and has a much more swept-back angle. All of this creates a new dynamism.’

While the New Beetle was defined by three semicircles – front wing, rear wing, domed roof – the new model has broken free of this geometry. The roof profile now runs distinctly lower and can be considered a continuation of the Ragster concept car shown in Detroit in 2005 – a type of hot rod based on the New Beetle. The Beetle is now bolder, more dynamic and more masculine.

The new car is 1,808 mm wide (gain of 84 mm), 1,486 mm high (12 mm lower) and 4,278 mm long (gain of 152 mm). This has resulted in entirely new proportions. The gain in length meant that the roof could be extended further, the front windscreen could be shifted back, and the rear section could follow the contour of the original Beetle. The new focal point is the C-pillar. In parallel, the development team increased the car’s track widths and wheelbase, all of which gives the Beetle a powerful appearance with muscular tension.

The facelift that took effect in the middle of 2016 built on the sharp proportions of the latest Beetle. The changes include a more sculptured body and a fresh interior design. Sharpened lines for the front bumpers and larger openings around the indicator and fog light surrounds give extra depth to the car’s appearance. Meanwhile, the new Beetle R-Line trim has a more sporty bumper design unique to that model. It features extra air intake openings along the upper edge of the bumper.

All of the Beetle’s typical styling characteristics have been preserved, and this should come as no surprise; after all, it was vehicles like the Beetle, Microbus and original Golf that had a decisive influence on Volkswagen’s ‘design DNA’. Of course, some of the Beetle’s longstanding characteristics remain: these include its flared wings and the clean design of its rear lights, the shape of the bonnet, the side and door sills and – more than ever – its ability to integrate large wheels (up to 19-inch).

The Sport trim from the pre-facelift Beetle featured a rear spoiler, and this has also been incorporated into the R-Line model. The top surface of the rear spoiler is always black, while its underside is painted in the same colour as the body.

Another aspect of Volkswagen’s design DNA is that the car should not only look good, but should also offer exceptionally good functionality. The two doors open wide, but they are not too long, making it easy to open them, even in tight parking spaces. The Beetle is the only Volkswagen to be equipped with round headlights. For the first time, bi-xenon headlights are available; mercury-free xenon gas discharge lamps with a power consumption of 25 watts per headlight are used for the projection module and when these are specified, daytime running lights are also included, each of which consists of 15 LEDs arranged along the outer border of the headlight housing.

In the space where the original Beetle once had its engine, there is now a bootlid which swivels upwards – together with the rear windscreen – when it is opened, making space for ample luggage or shopping (310 to 905 litres of cargo capacity). Located on either side of the bootlid are the rear lights, which, as on all Volkswagens, exhibit an unmistakable night look (c-shaped). The basic shape of the lights is integrated in the design of the flared rear wings, while the lights themselves are fully designed in dark red – except for two small white areas for the indicator and reversing lights.

In order to allow Beetle customers to personalise their cars, 12 colours are available, and on certain trim levels, this colour-coding can also be transferred to the car’s interior.

 

Interior

In summing up his view on the interior, Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand says: ‘My team has achieved a noteworthy coup with the Beetle: its interior design is as unique as it is unmistakable, and very much a Beetle design, just like the car’s exterior styling.’ An interior space has been created that is marked by a love for details, that is perceived as a genuine tribute to the Beetle, and that melds high-tech and classic elements in a new way. Above all, it is an interior that fits the car and is unlike anything else currently on offer in the automotive world.

Its many details make the interior refreshingly unique. There is the swept-back front windscreen; the instrument panel that combines innovative technologies and controls with painted surfaces; and a glovebox in the style of that in the original air-cooled Beetle. But no bud vase. The car offers ample space and comfort for four people, as well as a maximum cargo capacity of 905 litres.

As already mentioned, there is an array of colour options available for the Beetle’s exterior – and also for the interior. On the entry-level model (Beetle) and top-of-the-range R-Line, the facia, dash and door panels are Gloss Black, but on the mid-level Design versions, it is body-coloured.

Not only is the paint offered in a variety of hues; the Beetle is the first Volkswagen to be available with the option of three colour ambient lighting. To the right of the steering wheel, there is not only a small wheel for controlling the brightness of the instrument backlighting, but also a second one showing “0”, “R”, “W” and “B” which controls the colours to give the interior a hint of red, white or blue. The indirect lighting itself is located in the door trim panels, while direct lighting is implemented as a light ring around the door-mounted loudspeakers. Ambient lighting is offered as a pack in combination with the Fender premium sound system.

Every element of the interior has been redesigned, and all instruments and controls are designed to be clear, easy to find and read and ergonomically optimised. In front of the driver, three round instruments (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge) supply all of the key information and in the central speedometer dial there is a multifunction display. From Design up, the adjustable air vents and instruments have chrome bezels. This also applies to the audio/navigation systems that are located in the driver’s visual field on the dashboard, framed by two air vents. Beneath this are the temperature control panel, also redesigned, a central switch bar for the hazard lights and finally the gear shift grip with the engine start button (if specified).

Like the original Beetle, the new car has an extra glovebox integrated in the front facia whose lid folds upwards (the standard glovebox that is also integrated opens downward).

A distinguishing feature of the Beetle is that its interior ergonomics and packaging are based on completely new parameters. While drivers in the air-cooled Beetle travelled in a very low-slung seat, and drivers of the New Beetle felt as if they were seated very far back, the latest Beetle offers a sporty driving position with all features and controls, including the gear shift, intuitively in the ‘right’ place.

If the panoramic tilt/slide sunroof is specified, the controls for this are found in the roof area. The round turning knob is used to adjust the opening of the transparent roof in various stages, while pressing the other control initiates the tilt function.

In front, the four-seater Beetle is now somewhat lower in profile, since the domed roof of its predecessor has been eliminated. It now offers 1,005 mm interior height (with panoramic sunroof: 1,000 mm) compared to the previous 1,082 mm. Meanwhile, in the rear seating area, the longer roof section results in a distinctly enhanced feeling of space. Available here – with or without the panoramic roof – are 942 mm, which is around 10 mm more than on the previous model. Legroom has also increased in the rear to 797 mm while the Beetle also exhibits a noticeable growth in interior width (front: 1,459 mm / rear: 1,308 mm). What’s more, the Beetle has a completely redesigned seating system, which makes a substantial contribution towards the car’s high level of comfort, especially on long journeys.

Also beneficial for long touring journeys is the increased bootspace which now has a significantly larger capacity measuring 310 litres instead of 209. When the standard split rear bench is folded down, cargo capacity increases to 905 litres, and it is easy to load through the wide opening bootlid. Since the Beetle uses a platform that is technically closely related to that of the Golf Mk VI (shortened by 50 mm), the track widths and pass-through width also increased in the boot. The boot length is 838 mm when the rear bench seatback is up; when it is folded down the length is 1,493 mm. What’s more, practical bag hooks in the walls of the boot help in both small and large everyday transport tasks.

Climate control

All Beetle and Design models have standard Climatic semi-automatic climate control, allowing passengers to select a desired cabin temperature which is then maintained automatically, whatever the outside temperature.

Optional on Design and standard on R-Line is 2Zone electronic climate control, a fully automatic air conditioning system which allows driver and front-seat passenger to adjust their own climates individually and independently. Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.

 

ENGINES

Four power units are available for the Beetle, two petrol and two diesel. These are a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and a 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS, and a 2.0-litre TDI with either 110 PS or 150 PS. Volkswagen’s Start/Stop Technology is found in each engine, with modifications reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

The technically advanced designs of the TSI and common rail TDI powerplants result in class-leading efficiency and therefore lower carbon dioxide (CO?) emissions. Naturally, they all comply with the relevant Euro6 emissions requirements.

Petrol engines

TSI technology

The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines. These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity. Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply supercharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute. This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds. As a bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

TSI technology has received international acclaim. It was named Best New Engine in the 2006 International Engine of the Year Awards, since which it has won a number of high profile accolades.

1.2-litre TSI, 1197 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS

 Despite its small cubic capacity – and thanks to TSI technology – this turbocharged unit produces peak power of 105 PS at 4,500-5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 175 Nm (129 lbs ft) at 1,400-4,000 rpm. With the optional seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, the sprint to 62 mph takes just 10.9 seconds and top speed is 112 mph.

This engine features two valves per cylinder, operated by low-friction roller-rockers and extensive use of lightweight materials including plastics. This results in high fuel efficiency and a weight of just 94 kg (per DIN70020-GZ). Combined economy and carbon dioxide emissions figures are 54.3 mpg and 121 g/km (with DSG gearbox).

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

This 1.4-litre TSI unit uses supercharging and turbocharging to produce an impressive 160 PS at 5,000-6,000 rpm and 250 Nm (185 lbs ft) of torque at 1,500-3,500 rpm. It is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. This Beetle completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.7 seconds and has a top speed of 126 mph. Combined economy is 49.6 mpg, while CO? emissions are 132 g/km.

Diesel engines

Both the Beetle’s diesel engines use common rail technology, comply with Euro6 emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which reduces particulate emissions to below five mg/km. All are refined, economical and clean as well as good to drive.

Using a common rail system, the diesel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to 1,600 bar. Piezo actuators control multiple injections with highly precise fuel quantities and timing. In an effort to reduce internal engine friction, crankshaft, valve and oil pump drives were optimised, while a square bore/stroke ratio minimises friction losses at the cylinder liners.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS

The diesel line-up starts with a 110 PS unit that is available in the Design trim. Peak power is available at 3,500 rpm, while torque reaches 185 Nm (250 lbs ft) between 1,500-3,000 rpm. The zero to 62 mph sprint takes 11 seconds with both the five-speed manual and the seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes. The combined fuel consumption for the manual is 65.7 mpg with CO? emissions of 113 g/km. Those figures compare to the DSG’s 62.8 mpg and 119 g/km.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS

This popular diesel engine offers customers a powerful – 150 PS at 3,500 rpm – yet frugal option. Maximum torque of 340 Nm (251 lbs ft) is delivered between 1,750 to 3,000 rpm, standstill to 62 mph takes 8.9 seconds, and top speed is 125 mph (124 for DSG). This engine is available with a six-speed manual or DSG automatic transmission. Combined consumption is an impressive 62.8 mpg (58.9 DSG) while carbon dioxide emissions are low at 119 g/km (126 DSG).

Start/Stop Technology

All the Beetle engines are designated Start/Stop Technology variants. Start/Stop Technology models are a range of vehicles developed by Volkswagen that strike a balance between the highly focussed BlueMotion vehicles (in Polo, Golf and Passat) and the conventional products on which they are based. The range combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet remain practical and stylish as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

The breadth of Start/Stop Technology modifications varies from range to range. In the Beetle, it will incorporate Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems, as well as low rolling resistance tyres. The battery regeneration system is designed to help utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery. Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at constant speed. It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

The Beetle’s automatic Start/Stop system will be operated through the clutch pedal. When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral. When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display. In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically. The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.    

Gearboxes

Six-speed manual

Manual Beetle models have a standard six-speed gearbox (five-speed in Design trim with 110 PS diesel engine) featuring a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with very short lever movements. Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action. Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption.

DSG – automatic gearbox

Launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.

The six-speed DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears. Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur. This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.

Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.

Another world-first for Volkswagen, is a seven-speed version of its DSG transmission which uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance. The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system. Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact.

In adopting seven speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill. By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent. The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil. As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators. Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the new seven-speed system.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Beetle. They can choose Fixed or Flexible Servicing and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 (approx.) miles a year and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

? Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts

? Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing

? Driving with high rpm, heavy acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months.

The Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner. In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With Flexible Service, it can be possible to drive for up to 20,000 miles or 24 months without a major service.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

 

RUNNING GEAR

Front and rear axle

At the front, Beetle models use a strut-type suspension with helical springs and telescoping dampers; while at the rear a newly developed suspension with lightweight construction assists the car’s handling properties. Transverse forces are supported by an anti-roll bar here. The very lightweight running gear concept also offers excellent driving stability when the car is fully loaded.

Electro-mechanical power steering

 All Beetles, regardless of power output employ an electro-mechanical power steering system which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds. Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.

Braking system

The Beetle is equipped with a sophisticated braking system using ventilated discs at the front, ranging in diameter from 280 mm to 312, and solid discs of 272 mm on the rear axle. ABS, ESP (Electronic Stability Control) and Hydraulic Brake Assist are fitted as standard across the range.

ESC – Electronic Stability Control

The latest-generation ESC is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide. Should this situation occur, ESC reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power. In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend. In such circumstances ESC can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. The latest generation of ESC fitted to the Beetle has a finer response and counter-steering recommendation.

HBA – Hydraulic Brake Assist

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop. In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions. The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Hill hold function

All Beetle models have a standard hill hold function. The system is useful when the car stops for short periods such as in heavy town traffic or on a long incline. The parking brake now comes on automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest, preventing the car from rolling forwards or backwards for around two seconds.    

 

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Beetle is available in four trim levels, called simply Beetle, Design, R-Line and Dune. Specification highlights are listed below; for full details please see the price list.

Beetle

Engine:

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS 6-speed manual

This model has the following standard features:

? ABS anti-lock brakes with Hydraulic Brake Assist

? ESC (Electronic Stability Control), including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (traction control)

? driver and front passenger airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch

? combined curtain and side impact airbag system for front occupants

? driver and front passenger whiplash-optimised head restraints

? three-point seatbelts and head restraints for both rear passengers

? Isofix child seat preparation for two rear seats

? warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts if unfastened

? remote control central locking

? body-coloured bumpers and door mirror housings with integrated indicators

? electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors

? front electric windows

? 6½J x 16-inch steel wheels with 215/60 R16 tyres

? steel space saver spare wheel

? front comfort seats with height adjustment

? height and reach adjustable steering column

? front centre armrest with storage compartment

? multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption

? Composition Media infotainment system with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, MP3 playback, CD player with six speakers. USB connectivity and SD card reader

? glovebox

? secondary upwards-opening storage compartment in dashpad

? 12V socket in centre console x2

? split fold rear seat backrest (50:50)

? Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning

? hill hold function

? Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

? Brake pad wear indicator

? Heated rear windscreen

? Tyre pressure loss indicator

? Halogen clear headlights

? Tinted rear light clusters

? Battery regeneration (recuperation – energy recovery during braking)

? Start/Stop function

? Power-assisted speed-sensitive steering

? Warning ‘lights on’ buzzer

 

Design

Engines:

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS 6-speed manual

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS 5-speed manual or 7-speed DSG

On top of the items listed for the entry-level Beetle, Design adds:

? 7J x 17-inch ‘Orbit’ alloy wheels with chrome effect rims, 215/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? Composition Media system (in addition to Composition Colour system), including 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, AUX-in socket, Multi Device Interface via USB connection, Simultaneous pairing of two mobile devices, SMS functionality and eight speakers, front and rear

? body-coloured door handles and chrome exterior trim including front louvre

? body-coloured door protectors with chrome insert

? chrome strop on side window base

? front air intake with chrome trimmed louvre

? front fog lights, including static cornering function

? rear tailgate spoiler (1.4-litre TSI 150 PS only)

? twin exhaust tailpipe on left of vehicle (on 1.4 TSI 150 PS and 2.0 TDI 150 PS)

? body-coloured dashpad and interior door panels

? carpet mats, front and rear

? chrome trimmed air vent surrounds, décor rings, instrument cluster and radio surround

? leather trimmed gear knob and handbrake grip

? leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with body-coloured inserts

? ‘Platinum Grey’ centre console

R-Line

Engine:

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG

At the top of the Beetle range, R-Line models gain:

? 8J x 18-inch ‘Twister’ alloy wheels with 235/45 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? ‘Gloss Black’ door mirror surrounds with integrated indicators

? ‘Gloss Black’ door sill protection with chrome inserts

? Rear tailgate spoiler and rear tinted glass from B pillar backwards

? ‘R-Line’ styling pack – ‘R-Line’ design front and rear bumpers, radiator grille and side skirts plus unique ‘R-Line’ badging

? Twin exhaust tailpipe, on left of vehicle

? Aluminium-look pedals – clutch, brake and accelerator

? Door sill protectors, aluminium with ‘R-Line’ logo

? ‘Gloss Black’ dashpad and interior door panels

? Leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘Gloss Black’ inserts, ‘R-Line’ logo and contrast stitching

? Paddle shift (DSG only)

? Climate control – 2Zone electric air conditioning with automatic air recirculation

? Cruise control

? Parking sensors, front and rear – ultrasonic, audible with warning signal

? Sports instrument dials

 

Dune

Engines:

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG

The Beetle Dune crossover adds the following to the Design specification:

? 8J x 18-inch ‘Mythos’ alloy wheels with 235/45 R18 tyres and anti-theft bolts

? Increased ground clearance, raised by approx. 10 mm

? Black grained lower door protectors

? ‘Dune’ decals on door panels

? ‘Dune’ styling pack – uniquely shaped off-road front and rear bumpers and honeycomb front air intake

? Rear diffuser in ‘Reflex Silver’

? Rear extended tailgate spoiler

? Rear lights incorporating LED technology

? ‘Reflex Silver’ door mirrors with integrated indicator

? ‘Reflex Silver’ side sill protection with matt black grained inserts

? ‘Reflex Silver’ underbody styling trims

? Twin exhaust pipe on left of vehicle (2.0 TDI 150 PS only)

? Wheel arch protection, matt black grained

? Carpet mats front and rear with ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching

? ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching on leather trimmed handbrake grip

? ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching on leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with ‘Gloss Black’ inserts and ‘Dune’ logo

? Front centre armrest with ‘Dark Ceramic’ stitching

? Paddle shift (auto DSG only)

? Unique ‘Dune’ gear lever knob

? Rain sensor and automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror

? Automatic coming/leaving home lighting function

? Dusk sensor, automatic driving lights

? Parking sensors, front and rear – ultrasonic, audible

? Sports instrument dials

The Volkswagen Beetle Dune

The Volkswagen Beetle is renowned as an automotive style icon with, perhaps, the most well-known silhouette of any modern car. Original Beetles have been modified in small numbers over the years to suit specialist drivers’ requirements and among the most famous of these are the ‘Baja Bugs’ vividly associated with west coast America.

The spirit of those original conversions is rekindled in the modern Beetle range with the exciting Beetle Dune. Engineered and styled to pay tribute to those off-road heroes, and with a ride height raised 10 mm compared with the standard car, the Beetle Dune is designed to offer a vibrant new dimension to the existing Beetle line-up.

The Beetle Dune went on sale in the UK on 5 April 2016 through the Volkswagen UK Retailer network, with deliveries starting in June 2016.

The Beetle Dune’s rugged looks are enhanced via 18-inch ‘Mythos’ alloy wheels, front and rear wheelarch extensions and bold new bumper designs. Beetle Dune customers have a choice of Coupe or Cabriolet versions, while a selection of five body colours complement the car’s eye-catching styling. The Sandstorm Yellow metallic and Dark Bronze metallic, in particular, have been developed exclusively for the Beetle Dune. Other colour options include Deep Black pearlescent, Black (non-metallic) and Pure White (non-metallic). Parts of the dash and door panels also share the exterior body colour.

Indeed, styling inside and out helps the Dune stand out from the crowd. Its adventurous character is emphasised by a large silver-framed central air inlet and a black honeycomb grille. In profile, the black wheel well and body extensions contrast with the eye-catching paint colours. In addition, black side trim strips – stylised ‘Beetle running boards’ – and ‘Dune’ badging underscore the dynamic image of the latest Beetle. At the rear, a large spoiler and new LED lights create a futuristic look.

Inside, extensive use of contrast ‘Turmeric’ stitching on the sport seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and parking brake grip help define the Dune while contrasting areas of the seat system, door trim panels, roof pillars and headlining are finished in black.

The generously equipped Beetle Dune is based on the existing Beetle’s Design trim level which means a comprehensive selection of technology and creature comforts as standard. Among the highlights is the Composition Media system which includes 6.5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth telephone connection, DAB digital radio receiver, dash-mounted single CD player, MDI (Multi Device Interface) via USB connection, SMS messaging functionality and eight speakers. Standard-fit technology also includes a Light and Sight pack comprising auto dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights and rain sensing wipers, while convenience is enhanced by ultrasonic parking sensors front and rear.

A multifunction leather steering wheel with decorative 'Dune' insert and contrast 'Tumeric' stitching, leather-clad handbrake with contrast stitching and carpet mats front and rear with 'Tumeric' contrast stitching continue the Dune’s bespoke look.  ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning keeps things comfortably cool inside.

Safety is enhanced via ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) fitted as standard and the Beetle Dune Cabriolet has rollover protection. In addition, all Beetles have Isofix child seat preparation for two rear child seats, tyre pressure loss indicator and a comprehensive suite of airbags.

The Beetle Dune is powered by a choice of two engines. The 1.2-litre petrol TSI engine develops 105 PS and is available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox. With both options, the hatch model accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 11.3 seconds. The 2.0-litre TDI develops 150 PS and comes with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed auto DSG gearboxes and, in the hatch version, reaches 62 mph in 9.2 seconds. Top speeds, where legal, vary from 110 mph for the petrol manual to 124 mph for the diesel manual.

Fuel economy ranges from 51.4 mpg (combined) for the 1.2 TSI manual to 62.8 mpg (combined) for the 2.0 TDI manual while CO2 emissions range from 119 g/km to 126 g/km depending on engine and gearbox choice.

Today’s production Beetle Dune was presented to the world as a concept car at the Detroit Motor Show in 2014. The concept’s off-road interpretation of the classic Beetle design attracted global interest, and was itself a highly successful development of an earlier concept car revealed in Los Angeles in 2000.

 

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS AND TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Beetle, allowing buyers to create a bespoke car to suit their needs and tastes. These include a winter pack, satellite navigation systems, bi-xenon headlights, a Fender premium soundpack, paddle shift operation for DSG models and leather upholstery. Other ‘simple’ personalisation touches are available, for example, both Design and R-Line models are offered with 17-inch ‘Rotor’ and 18-inch ‘Discus’ wheels as a no cost option. For full details of pricing and availability, please see the latest price list.

Keyless entry

The Beetle is offered with a keyless entry, start and exit system. When one of the new design door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle. The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation. The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Beetle. If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser and the anti-theft alarm system, and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button. Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car. For example, to protect children, the Beetle cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle. It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control. From inside the car, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle. The Beetle can be unlocked and locked by remote control.

Light and sight pack

This pack includes the useful options of an automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror, a rain sensor, a dusk sensor (automatic headlights) and a coming/leaving home lighting function.

The self-dimming rear view mirror uses LCD technology to sense when the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver. The mirrors react by dimming automatically, in a similar way to light-sensitive sunglasses. Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and readjust when appropriate.

Automatic windscreen wipers are also included. Here, a rain sensor positioned ahead of the interior rear-view mirror on the windscreen activates the wiper system as required. An infrared beam is reflected in different ways according to the pattern of moisture landing on a windscreen sensor. Signals from the sensor are used to control the wipers. When the wiper control is set to the normal ‘Intermittent’ position the wipers are automatically controlled from ‘off’ when the screen is dry through different delay intervals of intermittent wipe and on to two speeds of continuous operation.

The dusk sensor detects light levels and automatically turns on your headlights when light is low, thus increasing safety. The dusk sensor system is fitted behind the internal mirror. It will turn on the dipped headlights whenever conditions demand, such as when driving through a tunnel. The headlights must be switched to 'auto' for the dusk sensors to work. They turn off automatically once the car is back in regular light.

The 'coming home' and 'leaving home' functions are designed to improve convenience and comfort. When the driver leaves their Beetle, various lights, including the dipped-beam headlights, courtesy lights in the exterior mirrors, rear lights and number-plate lighting, all stay on for a short while before they are switched off automatically. The same lights are switched on when the car is unlocked with the remote control. In this way the car's lights help to illuminate the way to and from the front door, whenever the driver arrives or sets off in the dark.

Bi-xenon headlights

Ultra-efficient gas discharge (Bi-xenon) headlights are offered as an option for the first time on the Beetle. These provide a well-focused, blue-white light which is more powerful than standard lights.

Parking sensors

Standard on R-Line and Dune, and optional on Beetle and Design, are front and rear parking sensors which allow objects and vehicles behind the car to be pinpointed. The system produces an audible warning signal to guide the driver up to a safe distance to any objects behind, along with a visual indication via the audio system display. Not only does this help to avoid car park knocks, it could also prevent accidents, for example, if a child runs out who may not have been seen.

Fender premium soundpack

The Beetle is the only vehicle in Europe available with a Fender premium sound system (available as an option on Design, R-Line and Dune). This pack comprises two tweeters in the mirror triangle and rear side trim, and a subwoofer located in a closed bass box in the boot. At the heart of the system is a 10 channel amplifier with eight speakers delivering a 400 Watt output, while ambient lighting around the speakers and door panels adds to the relaxed atmosphere. Fender logos on the speakers complete this package for the audiophile.

Telephone preparation

Design, R-Line and Dune models come with standard preparation for Bluetooth HFP (Hands Free Profile) enabled telephones. Here, the driver’s mobile phone is integrated into the vehicle’s systems without it being removed from a jacket pocket, for example. The actual mobile phone functions in the car are dealt with by a fixed telephone installation that obtains the necessary data from the SIM card of the mobile phone. The telephone is controlled using the radio system and the optional multifunction steering wheel (standard on Design, R-Line and Dune models).

Composition Media system

Standard from the entry-level Beetle trim is the Composition Media system. The installation uses a 6.5-inch touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information. Key features include a CD drive for audio discs, playback with title display for MP3 files and an integrated SD memory card reader from which files can be retrieved.

Discover Navigation touchscreen satellite navigation/radio system

Also available on all Beetles for a premium over the Composition Media system is the Discover Navigation satellite navigation system. This features a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen.

The navigation functions using the rear ABS wheel sensors to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning. Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System). The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

In addition to the satellite navigation, this system comes with a three-year subscription to Volkswagen’s ‘Car-Net’ Guide and Inform system. This provides online access to a range of information, including traffic, fuel pricing, parking space availability, weather and news feeds.

 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Volkswagen engineers designed the Beetle to be one of the safest cars in terms of both active and passive safety. Naturally, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is standard (see Running Gear section for more details), as is an effective network of front and side airbags that protects in the passenger compartment. The car body – much of it laser-welded and galvanised – exhibits one of the best torsional rigidity values in the segment at 26,000 Nm/º.

Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System

Injuries caused by hyperextensions of the cervical spine – or whiplash – are extremely common following car accidents. Volkswagen has developed WOKS – its Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System – to counteract whiplash injuries by co-ordinating the movements of the head and upper body as synchronously as possible via the seatbacks and head restraints. The latest generation of WOKS is now implemented as standard on the two front seats of the Beetle.

To reduce the risk of injury, excellent protection is afforded by achieving defined deceleration velocity of the upper body via the seatback, co-ordinated deceleration of the head via the head restraint, and balanced motions of head and upper body. Key to this are the special contour of the head restraints and seatbacks as well as the hardness of the foam material used here. In related studies, WOKS has demonstrated a level of protective potential that is substantially better than the biomechanical values attained by many active systems.

Child safety

Two Isofix child seat preparation points are standard in the rear of all Beetle models, enabling the secure anchoring of a compatible child seat.

Euro NCAP test results

The overall package of occupant, child and pedestrian protection and the safety assistance systems installed in the Beetle were evaluated by the European consumer protection organisation Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) in 2011, and the car scored the top five-star rating.

In occupant protection too, the vehicle attained a five-star rating. Factored into the rating were results of frontal and side impact tests, a pole side impact test and what is known as a whiplash test – which determines loads to the cervical spine of the neck. The Beetle also achieved excellent child protection results with dummies representing 18 month and three-year-old children.

The Beetle was also awarded very impressive results in the area of safety equipment. Here, Euro NCAP rated the standard seat belt reminders for all seats and standard use of a vehicle dynamic control system (ESC) as especially positive.

Euro NCAP is a manufacturer independent international crash test programme. After the Golf, Golf Cabriolet, Jetta, Passat, Polo, Scirocco, Sharan and Tiguan, the up! and Beetle became the ninth and 10th vehicles from Volkswagen to earn a top ‘5 star’ rating from Euro NCAP.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its extensive security and safety features, the Beetle has secured the following insurance group ratings (out of 50) from the ABI (Association of British Insurers). The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

Beetle Coupe

Beetle

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    13E

Design

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    15E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      14E

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS Manual    20E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS Manual    14E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS DSG      14E

 

R-Line

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    21E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      21E

 

Dune

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    15E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      15E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    21E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      21E

 

Beetle Cabriolet

Beetle

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    16E

Design

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    17E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      17E

1.4-litre TSI 150 PS Manual    22E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS Manual    16E

2.0-litre TDI 110 PS DSG      16E

 

R-Line

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    23E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      23E

 

Dune

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS Manual    17E

1.2-litre TSI 105 PS DSG      17E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS Manual    23E

2.0-litre TDI 150 PS DSG      23E

 

WARRANTIES

The Beetle has a three year, 60,000 mile warranty (first and second year with unlimited mileage manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated). In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Roadside Assistance which provides vehicle home and roadside recovery in the unlikely event of a breakdown in the UK or Europe. Further and extended warranty and assistance cover can also be purchased if required.

HISTORY

Few vehicles have a history like that of the Beetle, and even fewer have so many personal stories attached to them. Below is a chronology of key dates in the car’s long history.

The Beetle 1934-2003

1934

On June 22, the ‘Reichsverband der Deutschen Automobilindustrie’ (RDA) (National Association the German Automobile Industry) commissions Ferdinand Porsche with the design of a ‘people’s car’ or ‘Volkswagen’.

1935

The first prototype, with air-cooled boxer engine, 22.5 hp and 700 cc is developed. Two additional vehicles are built.

1936

The prototype, with three copies built, is designated the V 3. On February 24, RDA members are presented with one sedan and one convertible version in Berlin. From October 22 until December 22, each vehicle covers around 50,000 kilometers (over 30,000 miles).

1937

For continuous load tests, the RDA has 30 vehicles built, which cover a total of 2.4 million test kilometers (almost 1.5 million miles).

1938

After further reworking, the series model 38 emerges, the first to have the characteristic ‘pretzel’ window, running boards and bumpers. The car with the air-cooled, four-cylinder Boxer engine, with an engine capacity of 986 cc and 24 hp, weighs 750 kg (over 1,600 lbs). With a sedan, convertible and sedan with cloth sunroof, three model variations were presented.

1945

In August, the British military authority commissions the existing Volkswagen factory, managed by the British Major Ivan Hirst, with the delivery of 20,000 sedans. In December 1945, VW Beetle series production begins; 55 vehicles are assembled.

1946

The 10,000th Volkswagen is produced on 14 October.

1947

Of the 8,987 sedans manufactured in this year, the first vehicles are exported to the Netherlands.

1948

The 25,000th Volkswagen leaves the line in May. Monthly vehicle production climbs from 1,185 cars in May to 2,306 in December.

1949

On January 8, the first two sedans are shipped from the Netherlands to the USA. On May 13, the 50,000th Volkswagen since the end of the war is produced. On June 1, the ‘Export Model’ is presented, which differs from the standard model with its comfortable interior and extra chrome plating. The four-seater convertible Type 15, with body from the Karmann Company and based on the Volkswagen export model, also premiers.

1950

Starting in April, the Volkswagen is also available with a folding top at an extra charge. The hydraulic foot brake is introduced.

1951

The Volkswagen is already being exported to 29 countries. In October, the production mark of 250,000 is exceeded. The basic model is given side ventilation flaps at the front of the car. The export model now displays the Wolfsburg coat of arms on the front trunk, telescopic shock absorbers replace the lever shock absorbers.

1952

Starting in October, the most important innovations on the export model are the hinged swivel windows in the doors, a synchronised transmission and 15-inch rims.

1953

The ‘pretzel’ windows are replaced with larger oval ones on March 10. The 500,000th Volkswagen rolls off the line on July 3. Exports are now sent to 86 countries.

1954

In January, the 30 hp engine is demonstrated; it allows a top speed of 110 km/h.

1955

One million Volkswagens have been finished as of August 8. The Volkswagen receives a few new additions: PVC sunroof, dual exhaust, new rear lights.

1956

In addition to tubeless tires, the vehicle receives reinforced engine compartment insulation, a more powerful windshield wiper motor and a stronger starter.

1957

The Volkswagen receives a larger rear window and a newly designed instrument panel.

1958

The driver's side is given a large side mirror.

1959

The doors are given fixed handles with integrated pushbuttons. In August, the new export model is introduced - the VW 1200 with 34 hp engine and fully synchronised four-speed transmission. In addition, the standard and export models receive: turn signals instead of turn indicators, a trunk that is 65 per cent larger, a windshield washer and asymmetric headlights.

1961

The export model is equipped with pneumatic windshield wipers. The standard model receives a hydraulic foot brake.

1962

The 5,000,000th VW Beetle rolls off the assembly line. The cloth sunroof is replaced by a steel sliding roof.

1964

With the formation of ‘Volkswagen de México, S.A. de C.V.’ in Mexico City, Volkswagen makes the transition from vehicle assembly to production. In November, the standard model receives a fully synchronised transmission and the new designation, VW 1200 A. On December 1, mass production begins in the Emden Volkswagen plant.

1965

The standard model 1200 A receives a 34 hp engine. The new export model, VW 1300, with 40 hp engine, comes on the market.

1966

The standard model VW 1300 A replaces the 1200 A. It is available with 34 and

 40 hp engines. Door and ignition locks can be operated with the same key. In July, production of the VW 1200 A is suspended. In August, the VW 1500 has 44 hp and front disc brakes.

1967

The 10,000,000th Beetle is produced. The ‘Economy Beetle’ VW 1200 with 34 hp engine is available starting in January. Vehicle safety is improved by the introduction of the safety steering column and three-point seat belts. Model VW 1500 is offered with automatic transmission and semi-trailing arm rear axle.

1968

The Volkswagen officially becomes a Beetle in its advertising.

1969

Introduction of the VW 1300 L with custom features.

1970

Introduction of models 1302 (34 and 40 hp) and 1302 S (50 hp) with front spring struts and double-jointed rear axle. The Volkswagen 1302 is also built as a convertible version. VW 1500 production ends in July.

1971

The rear window is enlarged again.

1972

On February 17, the former production record held by the Model T Ford is broken with the 15,007,034th Beetle produced. In August, production begins on the ‘Panorama Beetle’ VW 1303 with 44 and 50 hp engines, which replaces the VW 1302. The VW 1300 S with 1.6-liter engine is introduced.

1973

Volkswagen releases more special models: Jeans Beetle, Big Beetle ‘yellow-black racer’, City Beetle. VW 1300 production ends in July. The model VW 1303 A is introduced in August. The 1303 convertible is presented.

1974

At 11:19 a.m. on July 1, the last Beetle rolls off the line at the original Wolfsburg plant. In August, production of the VW 1303 A is suspended.

1975

The last VW 1303 is produced in July.

1978

The last Beetle built in Germany rolls off the line in the Emden plant on January 19. All told, 16,255,500 Beetles were built in Germany. Overseas, more than 1,000 Beetles are produced each day. The Mexico Beetle is a VW 1200 L with 34 hp engine.

1980

On January 10, the last Beetle convertible rolls off the line at Karmann in Osnabrück.

 A total of 330,281 convertibles were produced.    

1981

On May 15, the 20,000,000th Beetle is produced at ‘Volkswagen de México’ in Puebla. The ‘Silver Bug’ anniversary model is offered.

1984

The 100,000th export Beetle is produced in Mexico.

1985

On August 12, the last ship with a load of Beetles arrives in Emden.

1992

The Mexico Beetle is equipped with a catalytic converter and Lambda probe. The 21,000,000th Beetle is produced in Mexico on May 23.

2002

On June 25, Golf production figures pass the Beetle, with 21,517,415 units. The Golf takes over the title of most-built Volkswagen model from the Beetle.

2003

The last Beetle manufactured by Volkswagen rolls off the line at ‘Volkswagen de México’ in Puebla/Mexico in July.

The New Beetle 1991-2011

January 1991

Volkswagen Group opens a design studio in California’s Simi Valley, north of Los Angeles. Its task at this focal point of modern life is to identify international trends at an early stage and to develop visions, in particular for the American market.

September 1991

The team becomes aware that Volkswagen’s success in North America is intimately linked with its successful Beetle. The young team of designers begins to design possible versions of a “New Beetle”.

May 1993

The Californian studio shows its first quarter-scale models to the Volkswagen Board of Management. The decision is taken to build a full-scale Beetle design study for the next Detroit Motor Show. Work begins in complete secrecy.

January 1994

The Concept 1 design study is the undisputed star of the Detroit Motor Show. American Volkswagen dealers vote unanimously for the new car to go into production.

March 1994

There is a surprise appearance of a Concept 1 at the Geneva Motor Show, now in convertible form. The applause it earned led to announcement that production of a “New Beetle” was looking likely.

October 1995

A re-dimensioned version of the Concept 1, looking near-ready for production and incorporating front-wheel drive, is exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show.

November 1995

With world expectation surrounding the car growing, the data control model is approved and final features of the design fixed. Volkswagen’s Mexican plant in Puebla is chosen to manufacture the new model because of its close proximity to North America.

March 1996

The New Beetle is officially named at the Geneva Motor Show with the showing of a further development of the design seen at Tokyo. New Beetle website launched.

January 1998

The New Beetle, now in production form, returns to the Detroit Motor Show. The fantastic reaction to the car from the media and the public leads Volkswagen to revise its initial target production figure from 500 to 600 cars per day.

October 1998

The New Beetle makes its European debut at the Paris Motor Show with sales scheduled to begin in Germany two months later.

January 1999

Volkswagen shows the Beetle RSI design study at Detroit as an example of the potential for the model. No official word is given on the powertrain of the dramatically-styled car except that it incorporates Volkswagen’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive system and has a V6 engine. New Beetle receives the North American Car of the Year Award.

April 1999

The New Beetle arrives in UK showrooms in left-hand drive form to satisfy huge demand for the car.

January 2000

The first right-hand drive models arrive in the UK. Demand is such that UK allocation is increased from 5,000 to 8,000 units in the year 2000.

August 2000

New Beetle 1.6-litre is introduced.

April 2001

New Beetle 1.8T and V5 are introduced (V5 Sport Edition in February 2002).

January 2002

First diesel New Beetle, 1.9 TDI with 100 PS, is launched.

April 2003

New Beetle Cabriolet is introduced.

June 2003

Entry-level 1.4-litre 75 PS New Beetle launched.

January 2005

New Beetle Ragster Study revealed at Detroit Auto Show.

September 2005

New Beetle is facelifted and enhanced with new lights, bumpers and wheelarches.

 Euro 4-compliant 1.9-litre TDI 105 PS engine replaces previous diesel.

July 2007

One millionth New Beetle produced.

February 2008

Tenth anniversary of the New Beetle celebrated in Puebla, Mexico.

The Beetle 2011- present

April 2011

Latest Beetle model makes public debut at Shanghai Motor Show.

July 2011

Production of the new model begins at Puebla, Mexico.

October 2011

UK Retailers begin taking orders for the Beetle ahead of launch in spring 2012.

November 2011

Beetle R Concept is revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

January 2012

All electric version of the Beetle – the E-Bugster – makes its debut at the North American International Automobile Show in Detroit.

June 2014

Volkswagen Beetle Dune, launched in at the Detroit Show in January, makes an appearance on the roads of Sylt in Germany. While still a concept car, it is almost production-ready.

April 2016

Beetle Dune joins the range. The charismatic new Volkswagen harks back to the famous Beetle dune buggies that roamed the West Coast of America in the 1960s and 1970s. Crossover styling and bright colours mark it out as a distinctive derivative of the Beetle.

July 2016

Complete Beetle range is facelifted, with a more sculptured body, particularly at the front, and a fresh interior design. Beetle R-Line joins the range in place of the Sport trim.

(ends)

Beetle /JB-06-17

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