Since 1998 it has been a fixture on our streets: the New Beetle In mid 2005, the Volkswagen cult-car was optically 'sharpened' in the style of the New Beetle Ragster study. With sure instinct the Volkswagen designers enhanced the level of the successful series. New lights, refined lines, a fresh color palette as well as new fabric seat covers are just a few of the details that were changed. Add to that a new wheel and a performance-optimized TDI motor. Altogether this results in a successful facelift that has made the appearance of the New Beetle even more concise.
The basic form of the New Beetle is untouchable. That is why the designers have perfected the details of the two-door front-wheel drive. But they have done this with consistency: The front bumpers have received a radiator grille that gives it a sportier look and the synthetic fenders have been given a sharper contour. The lights have also been redesigned. The clear-glass headlights are even more defined with their oval shape and the front blinkers have been made narrower. The white-in-red circle has given the backlights an optical change. The Volkswagen hood ornaments on the front and back have also been updated.
VERSIONS / ENGINES
One for all: the New Beetle is still available in a basic version that can be customized through various features and packages. In the new model year, colors with imaginative names like "Salsa Red" or "Gecko Green" offer a glimpse of the fresh colors and paints. Altogether, 15 colors will be available for the New Beetle. In addition, the interior of the New Beetle has new fabric designs available in Black, Flannel Grey, Cream, Mellow Yellow and Aquarius Blue. The interior has also been upgraded through chrome framing on the instrument cluster and air vents. The obligatory flower vase - a real classic - has remained untouched.
New Beetle drivers get even more creative options through the new wheel features. All in all, four 16 and 17 inch-alloy wheels as well as hubcaps for 16-inch steel wheels are available on request.
With the 2006 equipment packages "Exclusive" and "Premium", Volkswagen offers two options for its clients with a lot of extras and a price advantage of up to 2,000 euros.
The "Exclusive Package includes, amongst other things: air-conditioning, an alpha radio system, a central-locking system with remote control, power windows in the front and an individually foldable seatback in the rear. The "Premium Package) has the same elements as the "Exclusive Package as well as the gamma CD radio system and can easily be distinguished from the outside by its Las Vegas type 16-inch alloy wheels / alloy rims and additional fog lights.
As far as motors are concerned, Volkswagen stayed with the time-tested engines. Only the 1.9 liter Turbo diesel direct injection received a performance improvement for the 2006 model and now comes with 77 kW / 105 PS. Altogether, four gas fuel and one diesel engine/s are being offered with capacity ranges from 55 kW / 75 PS to 110 kW / 150 PS. The three New Beetle performance levels 75 kW, 85 kW, 110 kW can be combined with an automatic transmission (tiptronic).
INTERIOR / CARGO AREA
Analog to the unique design of the exterior, the special character of the New Beetle continues in the interior. The large half-moon shaped instrument cluster in full view for the driver, the grab handle for the front passenger and the dashboard are proof of the sure instinct of high design quality which interprets the classic elements of the Beetle in a contemporary way. The designer's perfect attention to detail is perhaps most strikingly visible in the classic flower vase on the dashboard of each New Beetle.
The radio "gamma" (standard with 85 kW and TDI) which is integrated in the half-moon shaped center console was specially designed for the New Beetle. It transmits via the rear antenna and broadcasts over six loudspeakers. Also very stylish is the modern steering wheel with the round airbag-bounce top. True Beetle-style is the only large round instrument, although here with integrated scales for rev meters and the fuel gage as well as the contemporary signal functions and the red needles on a magical blue illuminated background. Additionally, the flower vase, a nostalgic accessory from the Beetle era, and the spars the classic looped grab handles for backseat passengers remain.
There are plenty of storage areas, even on the rearview mirror (except 55 kW and 75 kW) with its clock and outside temperature display as well as a sunglass compartment in the ceiling and one on the driver's side (starting at 85 kW and TDI). Also on the middle console are the up-to-date cup holders. For cigarette lighters and on-board electrical devices, there are two 12-volt outlets in the front and back. The interior comes across as very friendly with its graspable, shagreened, likeable, soft-varnished synthetics and contemporary colors. Besides that, the New Beetle has a spacious feeling that seems unlimited in width and height in the front seats and offers ample space in the rear of this four-seater.
Very comforting: the central door locking system (optional for 55 kW and 75 kW) with programmable automatic locking of the doors after the car starts is like a bodyguard in the big-city jungle. Electric outside mirrors and active carbon filters for the interior air are further important details that come standard. Right in the driver's door is a remote release for the 55 liter fuel tank cover as well as the cargo area. In its standard configuration, it holds 209 liters and expands to 527 liters when the seatbacks are collapsed.
The contouring of the body is distinctive. It transports the originality of the classic Beetle into contemporary times. The round stern, the dome-shaped roof, the rear section, the fenders with the hint of a footboard, the embedded round head - (optional Xenon) and tail lights - bring back memories of the Beetle while the sharp accented lines and windows confirm the up-to-date design and express youthful energy.
The self-supporting body made out of zinc-plated sheet steel, has a twelve-year guarantee against corrosion. And it is high-strength with a positive impact on the crash demeanor and comfort and quality. Disappearance stability is the prerequisite for a smooth surface design with very narrow interstices. The firm steel body of the New Beetle as well as the synthetic fenders and bumpers are painted in one step in a specially developed process, so that the coloring is absolutely identical. By the way, as in the past, fenders and bumpers are screwed on, which enables low-cost repairs.
Meanwhile, the high design quality is confirmed by various international awards. The New Beetle received the coveted "Design of the Century Award" from the Industrial Designers of America (IDSA). This honors products whose design plays a significant role in the success of the product or brand. Before that, the New Beetle had received the "Product Design Award" from the Industrie Forum Design in Hannover and also the award for "Good Design" from the Chicago Athenaeum.
Part of the extensive standard equipment of the New Beetle are, amongst other things, driver and front seat passenger airbags, Head-Thorax airbag, the electronic stabilization program ESP (including brake assistant, ABS, EDS and ASR), the green-tinted heat-insulated glass as well as hook-ups for the Isofix child seat in the rear. On the active safety side, the New Beetle furthermore convinces with a neutral chassis including ESP and a reassuring competent front wheel drive.
Overview of petrol engines
1.4 with 55 kW / 75 PS: A modern four-valve engine with 55 kW / 75 PS is the base motor for the New Beetle which is also offered in the Golf. In 14.6 seconds, it accelerates to 100 km/h; its maximum speed is 161 km/h. The overall consumption is exceptionally low with only 7.0 liters for every 100 kilometers.
1.6 with 75 kW / 102 PS: The next stronger gas fuel engine with 75 kW / 102 PS and 1.6 liter cubic capacity has a controlled intake manifold as well as roller levers and displays a harmonious performance development at low level fuel consumption. The engine transmits its power through a five-gear transmission, alternatively available as a four-gear automatic transmission. The stick shift version reaches a maximum speed of 179 km/h and on average uses 7.5 liters of fuel every 100 kilometers.
2.0 with 85 kW / 115 PS: Even more dynamic is the established 2.0 liter engine. It delivers 85 kW / 115 PS and, on request, can also be ordered with an automatic transmission. The maximum speed for the stick shift model is 185 km/h. The average fuel consumption is 8.7 liters.
1.8 with 110 kW / 150 PS: The New Beetle 1.8 T was positioned above the New Beetle 2.0. Its four-cylinder turbo engine brings a dynamic 110 kW / 150 PS. In this version the New Beetle is 203 km/h fast. An exterior characteristic of the sporty model is a rear spoiler that automatically extends or retracts depending on the speed of the vehicle. An automatic transmission is available on request for the 1.8 T. The sporty New Beetle uses 8.1 liters every 100 kilometers when in combined use.
Overview of diesel engines
1.9 TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS: Since the end of 2001, there is also a TDI engine with pump-valve injection combined with a five-gear transmission available. For the 2006 model, this was expanded to 77 kW / 105 PS. The torque strong diesel engine (240 Newton meters at 1,800 rpm) provides the New Beetle with good performance (maximum speed 178 km/h) and a very low fuel consumption of only 5.1 liters for every 100 kilometers.