New VW Beetle based on Golf GTI

* Beetle won't be 'retro' like current model * New car shares many parts with Golf GTI * Car will be launched in the autumn...

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What Car? Staff
3 Jun 2011 09:20 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Volkswagen says the next Beetle will be an overtly sporty car, and not a straight substitute for the style-conscious retromobile currently on sale.

Luca di Meo, VW Group head of marketing, says the Beetle, which will be launched in the autumn, shares many parts with the Golf GTI hot hatch - and that VW needs to convince potential customers of the connection between the two models.

'Underneath it is more or less a Golf GTI, so it drives really well,' he said. 'We have to make sure people understand that.'

Whereas the current Beetle has simple beam axle rear suspension, the new one will have the fully independent set-up of the current Golf. It will also use a selection of the Golf's TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines.

Inside, the vast MPV-like dashboard of the outgoing Beetle has given way to a far slimmer and more sophisticated-looking structure, and there is no longer a place for the flower holder that adorns the current car's dash.

The exterior of the new Beetle, particularly at the rear, is reminiscent of early Porsche 911s. Di Meo has exploited this with 'turbo' text that run along the lower edges of the doors, echoing the 'Porsche' script that the sports car company has periodically used.