volkswagen: 2012 beetle
volkswagen: 2012 beetle
apr 19, 2011

volkswagen: 2012 beetle

volkswagen: 2012 beetle



just in advance of the new york auto show, volkswagen has unveiled the 2012 ‘beetle‘, with a redesign imagined as ‘a new original’ but hearkening back to the earliest ‘beetles’ rather than the 1998 model.

produced in both a ‘design’ and ‘sport’ trim line, the 2012 ‘beetle’ attenuates the curves of the iconic model with a lower profile, longer front hood, a more angled windshield, and a panoramic roof that is 80% larger than that of previous releases. the car also features a rear spoiler on its TSI models, painted black along its top surface and the body colour on its underside.

at 168.4 inches long (427.7cm), it is a half foot (15cm) longer than the original, as well as 3.3 inches (8.4cm) wider and a half inch (1.3cm) shorter. trunk space is expanded to 10.9 cubic feet (0.3 cubic meters) of space, and features a split-fold rear seat.


volkswagen: 2012 beetle three-quarters rear view


volkswagen: 2012 beetle rear view


volkswagen: 2012 beetle three-quarters front view


the 2012 ‘beetle’ offers three options for engines: a 2.5L gasoline 5-cylinder, a 2L TSI turbocharged gasoline engine, and 2L TDI clean diesel model.

vehicles featuring the last of these engines are estimated to attain a combined fuel economy of 33mpg (7.13L/100km), ranging up to 40mpg (5.88L/100km) highway. by contrast, the other two models attain approximately 30mpg (7.84L/100km) as their highway economy.

the TSI turbocharged engine provides 200hp and 207lb.ft of torque, utilizing an XDS cross differential system to electronically monitor wheel input and redistribute the torque among the wheels to control any vehicle slippage.

the gasoline five-cylinder engine is produced with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, while the other two engines come standard with a 6-speed manual, featuring an optional 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.


volkswagen: 2012 beetle an elongated front hood and more deeply inset and inclined windshield are some of the notable changes to the beetle’s exterior


volkswagen: 2012 beetle models featuring the TSI turbocharged engine come standard with a rear spoiler, black on top and the body colour on the underside


fitted standard with eight panasonic speakers, the 2012 ‘beetle’ is also available with a ‘premium VIII audio system’ with integrated CD changer, SD card reader, and touch screen, or the ‘fender premium audio system‘ with additional subwoofer and featuring adjustable interior ambiance lighting.

other optional additions include a navigation system via a 5-inch touchscreen, keyless entry and starting system, and bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights.


volkswagen: 2012 beetle side view


volkswagen: 2012 beetle detail on rear spoiler


volkswagen: 2012 beetle interior view


the interior of the car echoes the design of early ‘beetles’. three round instrument gauges are arranged in front of the driver, while optional auxiliary features (oil temperature, clock with stopwatch, and boost pressure gauge) are located above the audio and (optional) navigation system to his right. an extra glove box, with an upward-folding lid, is integrated into the dashboard above the standard pull-out compartment.

with standard electronic stability control and both front and ‘side curtain protection’ rear airbags, the vehicle features volkswagen’s ‘intelligent crash response system’ to automatically initiate safety responses in certain collisions, unlocking doors, turning on hazard lights, and cutting electricity to the fuel pump.

volkswagen: 2012 beetle detail of driverside dashboard


volkswagen: 2012 beetle the car is the first time a ‘beetle’ will offer built-in navigation


volkswagen: 2012 beetle the four-seater vehicle features a split rear seat


the new ‘beetle’ is expected to be available in september or october of 2011 in north america, the following month in europe, and feburary 2012 in asia. no pricing data has yet been released.


footage from the unveiling of the 2012 ‘beetle’ at the new york auto show

  • I dont understand why they have to present it like its the intro to a wrestling show

    stefan says:
  • after the previous unsuccessfull beetle which was a bad descendant of the original one, now VW astonishes us with another boring, dull and timid design which once more insults the marvellous “baroque” style of the original beetle. If they name it differenty its a nice little car and also Porsche-like. Chrysler did that with the descendant of Dodge Viper. They named it differently simply because of sincerity. It simply has nothing to do with the original model. Not prettier, not evolved, nor better.

    kallow says:
  • I can see this being on the cover of VDUB magazine (vw tuning&modification mag) with a crazy body kit and huge engine. Cant decide if they have made the beetle look badass or not…

    tom says:
  • the interior is a nightmare. looks like they crossed a golf with the gaudy mini. trashy materials everywhere. totally incoherent lines and forms.

    Michael says:

    Charles says:
  • I think that VW has a problem with the design solutions lately….this one, and especialy the new vw passat ?? wtf is that….

    Edin says:
  • How long before the Beetle morphs completely into the Chrysler PT Cruiser?

    Geoff says:
  • BOOM – geoff you are on the money. Way to PT Cruiser

    nsdf says:
  • pt cruiser is exactly what I thought as well. I’m rolling on the floor laughing.

    LML says:
  • For some reason I see an air of the Panamera in this car, the proportions are not quite PT Cruiser but I see where some of the comments are coming from, maybe is the bastard child of both. I agree with kallow in regards to it needing to be named something else, if you look at the side view and cover front there is a lot of Porshe in this car (which is in its DNA anyways), but the front end doesn’t really belong there, otherwise the proportions are not bad at all. I disagree with Michael, the interior does have a cohesive theme, maybe it feels a bit cluttered but the volumes relate to each other nicely.

    ArtCrit says:
  • Car design always looks easier from the spectator side. I challenge all of the negative critics here to try it and come up with a real icon and post it here. In fact, there is competition in this site where if you feel you can do better than the VW guys at redesigning a classic, you all have the chance at showing the world how its done; that is if you have the balls and the skills to put your money where your mouth is!

    Dave says:
  • i can see this is a fatty version of Porshe…look at the black one exterior side elevation image.

    w says:
  • PT cruiser? Hardly. More like a cross between a Porsche and an Audi TT. I love it.

    eschmitt says:
  • U guys are being strange,

    so u all prefer the older one?

    i think its a postive move by VW, i tink tis very good.

    not as good as the classic which is about 60 years old and cant really be used for everyday use.

    this is jst great i tink. with tat 2l tsi engine, its gona moveee..

    Bee says:
  • I don’t mind the look change. but the main concept of the VolksWagen is lost (Volks Wagen = Peoples’ wagon) now it’s not that affordable yet durable car anymore.

    Tiby says:
  • I agree w/ positive comments, overall! I so far don’t like what I’ve seen in the Passat upgrade, but I didn’t like the last version, either, being more committed to my ’98 Passat (though I migrated to Audi A3, only because I’m bad at backing up a long car in Seattle’s ltd spaces). If it’s easy to put a dog in the back seat and lock in place, the New-er Beetle is mighty tempting!

    Greg in Seattle says:
  • More oriented towards a masculine market (the last one was completely femenine. It had too much “flower power”). This time they tried to make it more agressive, and I agree: it looks like the bastard of the Panamera and the PT Cruiser, with some similarities in the interior to the mini or the fiat 500. It will be a great candidate for customization too (very popular now in europe).
    In my opinion: a little step forward.

    A man. says:
  • if you hater bitches don’t like it – don’t buy it. I personally like it more than the last one – and anybody that’s driven the original will have fond memories of it being far from what we expect from modern cars – clunky, vibrartions, easily rotten base… I like the black one and might buy one at the end of the year.

    Adey says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(4 articles)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
504,062 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine