Mike Stevens | Mar 18, 2011


Reports out of Europe this week suggest Volkswagen will unveil the next-generation New Beetle at April's Shanghai Auto Show - well ahead of the expected Los Angeles Motor Show debut.

Shanghai may not be the Beetle's only appearance that week however, with a New York Auto Show unveiling expected to occur just days later.

Recent spy photos of a near-unfettered test car showed that testing for the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is nearing completion, adding credence to a sooner-than-later unveiling.

The reports and photos follow news last year that the next generation Beetle will be positioned as more of a 'halo car' for the brand. And, certain to broaden its appeal, to take on a more 'masculine' look.

The new model is expected to utilise Volkswagen's 2.5 litre five-cylinder and 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engines, along with a 1.4 litre petrol-electric hybrid setup - likely as part of VW's E-Mobility programme.

An unnamed source said the new Beetle is being developed on the same platform as the recently-revealed 2011 Jetta, giving it larger proportions overall and reportedly improved dynamics.

"The design will change, slightly but there won't be anything too surprising," an unnamed source told Britain's Autocar. "It will have more interior space and slightly different proportions.

“It is more contoured, with additional structuring and defined feature lines used to help to break up the simple surfacing and unadorned character of the current model,” the source said.

The Beetle’s design chief, Walter de’Silva, described the design of the next-generation model as “a big step”.


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