Twelve years after it re-introduced the Beetle, Volkswagen has announced pricing for the third-generation of its classic “people’s car.”
The new 2012 “21st Century” Beetle will start $18,995, offering a more muscular design that honors the Beetle’s past with revisions that offer a stronger, more powerful coupe.
Unlike the other options in its segment, few vehicles offer consumers the heritage and character of the Volkswagen Beetle.
“Cross shoppers might consider the Mini Cooper or Fiat 500,” said Jesse Toprak, VP of Industry Trends and Insights at TrueCar.com, but “most consumers looking to purchase the Beetle are already determined to buy it.”
Traditionally, the Volkswagen Beetle has appealed to a primarily female audience. The Volkswagen New Beetle was in 20101 the first choice among women shoppers with 60.6 percent of the registrations. One year earlier, the Volkswagen Beetle placed highest among woman shoppers with 56.1 percent of the registrations.
The 2012 Beetle features sportier, more dynamic, and bolder styling. It is also 3.3 inches wider, 6.0 inches longer, and 0.5 inches lower, giving the car a more muscular appearance that has a broader appeal to male and female new car shoppers.
The Beetle comes standard with eight-speaker sound system, as well as an optional premium audio system that features a CD changer, interface for SD cards, and touchscreen controls. The 21st Century Beetle also boasts concert-quality sound options thanks to an exclusively designed Fender Premium Audio System that combines quality automotive engineering and quality sound engineering, to bring the raw emotion of live music to the driving experience.
The 170-horsepower/2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder model has a starting MSRP of $18,995 and offers fuel economy that is improved by up to 10 percent over past 2.5-liter models. “The Beetle is a statement car for most buyers,” said Toprak. “At this price, the 2ist Century Beetle is priced right, but there’s no competition to compare it with.”
Mileage is estimated at 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway, when outfitted with the five-speed manual transmission. The optional six-speed automatic is expected to offer EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway.
The 2.5-liter model comes standard with a split folding rear seat, auxiliary inputs for portable audio players, a leather steering wheel, unique and customizable 17-inch alloy wheels, and an eight-speaker audio system.
Options include an additional glovebox similar to that found in the original Beetle, Bluetooth handsfree connectivity technology, iPod connectivity, heated front seats, three-color interior ambient lighting, and leatherette seating surfaces.
The sportiest model — the 200-horsepower/2.0-liter turbocharged, sequentially injected engine — will have a starting MSRP of $23,395. This model produces 207 lb-ft of torque when mated to the automatic transmission and offers an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg city.
The 2.0-iter TSI model features a standard six-speed manual transmission, as well as the option of Volkswagen’s dual-clutch automatic transmission. In addition to the standard equipment found on the 2.5-liter model, the 2.0-liter model adds Bluetooth handsfree connectivity technology, iPod integration, three-color ambient lighting, larger brakes with red calipers, a “kaeferfach” additional glovebox similar to that of the original Beetle, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, foglights, three additional dashboard gauges, and alloy pedals.
A turbocharged directed injected (TDI) clean diesel model will also become available in 2012, powered by Volkswagen’s 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 236 lb-ft of torque. Volkswagen is expecting highway fuel economy of 40 mpg.
The Beetle includes Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in some types of collisions. The Beetle is also covered under the no-charge, 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled Carefree Maintenance Program.
Source: Volkswagen of America