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VW Beetle: Live impressions!

VW Beetle

Here are the first live impressions of the next-generation VW Beetle, VW’s new rockstar.

Marketing guru de Meo says VW laid out three objectives for the new hatchback: Bring back the spirit of the original, i.e., make it affordable, tough, and easy to use; reconnect with the emotion of the car; and bring the shape and concept of the original into the 21st century.

To achieve all that, Volkswagen’s head of design, Klaus Bischoff, says they threw everything from the current Beetle out the window and had an original Beetle in the studio when they started the redesign in 2007. Working from those vintage cues, the 2012 car is stretched everywhere: it’s 150 millimeters longer, 3.2 inches wider, and has a wider track. The bonnet is longer, a look exacerbated by the cabin being pushed back and the windshield being more upright and closer to the driver. The finished product even looks different compared to the car we saw in spy shots back in January.