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When the new Volkswagen Beetle first went on sale over ten years ago it was a niche product that proved to be somewhat of an impractical, pricey retro VW. The Volkswagen Beetle sold 9059 in one year when it was at its peak, but that number was well down on last years 2010 figures as Volkswagen sold just 2448. But if you put those figures alongside the 58,000 Golfs sold last year it gives you some kind of idea on how much the VW Beetle sales are down.
The 2011 Volkswagen Beetle will be built at the same plant in South America as the current Beetle, production finished on the current model back in August 2010. The New Beetle will try and steer clear of been branded as more of hair dressers car like the previous Beetle, so out goes the dash mounted flower vase. Volkswagen wants to attract more male customers for the new Beetle, so the design team had to come up with a design for the Mk3 Beetle that had more of an aggressive and sportier look that would appeal to both male and female customers. With the MK3 Beetle model you get a much sportier, coupe look but even with all the changes you still get the iconic look of a Volkswagen Beetle which will surely be one of the top ten lease deals on cheap contract hire deals.
The rear of the car is where you can see the biggest changes especially around the light clusters as the round lights of the old Beetle have made way for a new set of lights that really help change the appearance of the rear as they now sit flush with the boot and are no longer round. If you decide to go for one of the more powerful models like the Beetle Sport you also get a rear spoiler and twin exhausts system which adds much needed styling. When you first look at the Volkswagen Beetle you would think the Mk3 version was smaller and more compact but in fact the Beetle has actually grown by 152mm, the illusion of the Beetle looking smaller is down to the cars overhangs being reduced front and back. The new Beetle is now even longer than the current Golf so this will help give the cabin much needed space as the old Beetle felt a bit cramped, this extra space also increase the boot space from 209 litres to 310 litres.
The front of the new Volkswagen Beetle now has squared shaped bumpers and LED daytime running lights. The windscreen is set further back but it is now steeper and shorter due to the roof line being a lot lower. The lower roof line has made the biggest change to the look of the new Beetle as with the old Beetle the roof line always reminded me of the old Citroen 2CV.
Volkswagen will fit the Beetle with a new range of three petrol engines and one diesel engine which consist of a 1.2TSi which produces 105 Bhp, 1.4TSi which produces 160 Bhp and a 2.0 TSi which produces 197Bhp. The diesel engine is an ultra efficient 1.6 litre TDi which comes from the Golf BlueMotion, which can achieve 65.7mpg. All of the new Beetle engines will be available with Volkswagens DSG 7 speed automatic gearbox. VW claim the new Beetle will offer some good driving experiences and the Sport petrol version model of the Beetle will be fitted with a VW torque vectoring as standard. How the torque vectoring system works is as the car corners hard the inside wheels are braked which helps the car corner better.
The Beetles interior is quality as you would expect but the new interior is an improvement on the current one and the feminine touch of old has certainly disappeared as there is sportier finishes such as carbon effect on the dash and central instrument panel. Volkswagen have not moved away from retro side of the Beetle altogether as the double glove box still features which was first seen on the original air cooled models. Volkswagen has decided to follow the trend like other manufacturers and decided to simplify the trim levels down to the following Beetle, Design or Sport. But you will still have a wide choice to personalise whatever spec you choose, more will be revealed closer to the official launch date.
The Volkswagen Beetle will be unveiled at the Shanghai, Berlin and New York to give it the best possible coverage.
Expect to see the Beetle on the UK roads next January and will sit below the Golf in the Volkswagen range and prices should start from £14,000 for the1.2 TSi Beetle to around £22,000 for the Beetle Sport model. All Volkswagen Beetles will be available on car leasing deals through Lease-Cars-Direct on Personal Lease, Business Lease and Company Lease Car. All cars from Lease-Cars-Direct are new lease cars and all are available on cheap contract hire deals. All VW lease cars come with free delivery and free car tax for the duration of the lease car term.