The third-generation Beetle is longer, lower and wider than the previous model, which – combined with a wider track – makes it look sportier than before.
There has also been an attempt to make it look more like the original car, and it does a pretty good job.
Other touches that hark back to its ancestor include an old-school glovebox – that opens upwards – and there are also more painted parts in the cabin including the spokes on the steering wheel, to match the exterior finish.
Four engines will be on offer; three petrol and one diesel. The entry-level petrol is a 104bhp 1.2-litre, but buyers will also be able to choose a 158bhp 1.4-litre or a 197bhp 2.0.
The diesel is a 104bhp 1.6-litre, with fuel consumption and emissions that would put the first-generation car to shame.
Matched to VW's package of Bluemotion Technology efficiency measures, it can do an average of 65.7mpg with CO2 emissions of just 112g/km.
Trims and practicality
Three trims will be available; Beetle, Design, and Sport. All will come packed with plenty of safety systems and a wide range of options including keyless entry, a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof and LED running lights.
The boot offer 310 litres of space, much more than the 209 litres of its most recent forebear.
Sales of the new model start in the UK this summer with first deliveries due early in 2012. However good it might prove to be, it's unlikely to sell more than the original, which recorded more than 21.5 million sales during its 73 years of production.