Filed under: Budget, Hatchback, Volkswagen, First Drives
Getting Back To Being A Credible Car For The Times

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo - Click above for high-res image gallery

Volkswagen's choice of Berlin for the launch of its 2012 Beetle inevitably struck us Yanks as curious - and not just because of the horrible abundance of construction projects in the city that makes driving a relative concept at best. The last time a Beetle was unveiled to massive acclaim in Berlin was 1938 and, well, you can finish that story for us. What is most pertinent in that remark, however, is how the original Beetle transcended politics and worldwide upheaval to thrive on its own merits.

The original Volkswagen Beetle sold over 21.5 million cars worldwide, with almost a quarter of those sales coming from the United States. More recently, our roads have been clogged with the 1998-2011 "Type 1C" New Beetle. We have our lingering opinions on the merits of that outgoing car, but regardless, it sold 1.2 million units globally - a figure not to be sniffed at. That said, if we're being honest, it was never a particularly serious and significant car for its times, despite all of the initial hubbub. We always wanted much, much more from a model whose original had succeeded in marking an entire era of rebellion and liberation. To be honest, though, we in the U.S. have been hoping for much, much more from Volkswagen as a company since long before the New Beetle.

Well, we're finally getting some of what we've been asking for. Volkswagen North America has Wolfsburg's undivided attention at last, and this "A5" Beetle is targeted squarely at the U.S. market. How will it resonate with 21st-century American buyers? Can it rival the Mini Cooper? Supplant the love we're cultivating for the Fiat 500? Steal sales from larger volume and less image-heavy cars like the Ford Focus and Mazda3? So much is yet to be discovered.Continue reading 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo
2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Jul 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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