The Volkswagen New Beetle is a car introduced by Volkswagen in 1998, drawing heavily on the design cues of the original Beetle. Based on a Volkswagen Golf, the "retro" design proved to be more successful in some markets than in others. It is assembled at the VW Puebla factory in Mexico. The big contrast between the New Beetle and the Classic Beetle is that, like most cars, the New Beetle has the engine in the front and storage in the back.
At the 1994 North American International Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the J Mays-penned "Concept 1", a concept car with futuristic styling deliberately reminiscent of the original Beetle's rounded shape. It is a cabriolet, which retains the flowing lines of the sedan, yet captures the chic looks of the original Beetle cabriolet. It was equipped with "large diameter" 17 inch wheels (with the VW logo, just like the original Beetle hubcap) with low-profile tires. Also, in the concept car, there is a "zero emission" hybrid design made for it originally (it was said to use 248-V) the fuel consumption of the original is 2 L.
Strong public reaction convinced the company to move the car into production, and in 1998 Volkswagen launched the New Beetle, designed by J Mays and Freeman Thomas at the company's California design studio. The New Beetle is related to the original only in name and appearance (including the absence of a car emblem script with the exception of the VW logo): under the hood, it is a modern car in every way, based on the Volkswagen A platform (Mark 4 Volkswagen Golf).
Still, it carried many of designs reference to the old Beetle: separate wings, vestigial running boards, sloping headlamps, large round tail light, as well as a high rounded roofline that provide enough headroom for tall drivers.
In stark contrast to the original, the U.S. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the New Beetle among the best safety ratings in its class at the time of its launch.
The car was widely considered a flop in Europe, but it was a success in the United States. There, marketing campaigns enhanced the continued goodwill towards the original, and helped the new model to inherit it. The Volkswagen New Beetle was Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1999. A convertible version of New Beetle started production two years after launch, after many buyers had aftermarket conversions.
For the 2006 model, the exterior is slightly redesigned with bigger bumpers and is fitted with a 2.5L 150hp I5 base engine, as seen on the A5 Jetta.
Transverse-mounted water cooled I4; 1984 cc; fuel injection (available in both petrol and diesel version)Â
Length: 4089 mm (161 in)
Max speed: 177 km/h (110 mph)