VW Beetle gets edgier, more masculine look


The funky, retro-shape Beetle burst onto the scene in the late 1990s. The car essentially looked the same for too long by automotive standards, so VW decided it was time to do something different.

"We wanted to kind of keep that same distinct personality that the Beetle has been known for for many years, but give it a modern twist," said VW of America spokesman Darryll Harrison.

Modern, yet even more retro in many ways, and called simply "Beetle."

It's a bit lower, longer and wider than the previous car. The shape is more like the Beetles that became very popular in the 1960s.

And little touches from that bygone era permeate this new Bug. The dashboard and door panels wear color-keyed surfaces to look like the old metal ones, and it has an old-school glove box. And if you ever climbed into the back of a first-generation Beetle, the assist straps will look really familiar.

Outside, chrome wheel discs borrow their design right from the hub caps that millions of Volkswagens wore through the decades.

After more than a dozen years essentially unchanged, the Beetle was certainly due for a redesign, and this new shape could appeal to people who maybe had the old one and were just ready for a change. But the new shape could also appeal to another group that never would have considered the old one, namely men.

Of all the words you'd have used to describe the outgoing new Beetle, "masculine" usually wasn't one of them. The makeover for this new one seeks to change that.

"So it gives you a little bit more of a bold feel and guys would probably like this one more than the last one," said Harrison.

As men and women look for something stylish and fun, the redesigned 2012 Beetle has a lot to offer: economy car hardware, lots of features and some retro flair that's hard to beat.

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