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Two Beetles for VW?

Posted by: David Kiley on July 14, 2008

Despite the falloff in popularity of the aging New Beetle at Volkswagen, the company may be considering two Beetles in the next decade. According to an item in Motor Trend, the next-generation Beetle will share its platform with the sixth-generation Golf (the current New Beetle shares its platform with Golf IV. But it also says VW is contemplating a smaller Beetle that would use the rear-engine platform developed for the company’s smaller Up! city car.

The original Beetle, of course, was built on a rear-engine platform shared with models susch as the Karmann Ghia and Microbus.

Motor Trend says the smaller model would resemble
the larger Beetle and might signal a return to rear-engine
drive for the Beetle nameplate.

Reader Comments


July 16, 2008 7:30 PM

The Beetle might see an upswing if they, I dunno, ACTUALLY UPDATED IT? Talk about sitting on your laurels VW.

Andrew Odom Jr.

July 23, 2008 11:00 AM

How old are you anyway? The heritage of the Beetle is that they *never* truly updated it, outside of gradual engine upgrades and tiny mechanical and body changes. But even now the Beetle is based body-wise on the heritage of what was a 1930s car. That's right, a '30s car, with running boards, etc.

VW for years used this as a badge of honor - that you saved money as a customer not having to pay for minor cosmetic changes (fenders, etc.) so for years the Bug ruled the roost.

The new Bug is more about PR and has never matched the old Bug in versatility, value and mass appeal, but it at least keeps some of the heritage alive.

I'm glad to see VW is keeping the faith (1979 to 1998 was a long time without new US beetles!) and even considering a return to the rear-engine. With the small car coming back into vogue, this is a smart strategy to keep the Bug alive.

danny madayag

July 25, 2008 4:44 AM

I bought a 1973 VW 1300 Classic Beetle here in the Philippines in April and since I just bought it cheap, it goes without saying that the car was in a verry sorry state of roadworthiness. None of the gauges was working properly, there was only one wiper functioning, there were loose contacts with the lightinngs systems, all the tires were almost bald, there was a play on the steering wheel's clearance, the flooring was coroded with rust, I had to rely on a fully-charged battery and had to travel at daylight to avoid using headlights since the generator was not functioning, the body needed repairs, the sound of the motor was so terrible as an offshoot of it having not in use for almost one year, the sparkplug cables as well as the sparkplug themselves were of different types and make, the air cleaner as well as the filter was so dirty and there were drags on first and second gear drives. I had to negotiate more than 100 kilometers of travel from the former owner's place to ours for me to bring it home. At first I had to handle it gently because of doubts on its roadworthiness. Yes, I test-drove it but not for this lenght of travel. After, say, 20 kilometers of not encountering engine quits, I decided to accelerate more and as I traveled farther, more acceleration. To my amusement it was quite a performance for a car which had been idle for almost a year. If this car could negotiate more that a hundred kilometers in that conditon, what more if it's in real tip-top condition? True, as the joke goes, VW Classic Beetles were designed and manufactured by real engineeres, today's cars by lawyers and accountants. Do I need say more?

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