Introducing New New Beetle

The 2012 version goes on sale in the fall
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2011 9:53 AM CDT
Volkswagen Introduces New 2012 Beetle
In this product image provided by Volkswagen of America Inc., the redesigned Volkswagen Beetle is displayed.   (AP Photo/Volkswagen of America Inc.)

(Newser) – Volkswagen has overhauled its iconic Beetle for the second time, introducing the new new version today. It's the first refresh since 1998, when Volkswagen came up with the New Beetle, nearly two decades after the original Beetle was discontinued. The signature bulbous shape has been replaced with a flatter roof, the AP reports. Also gone: the dashboard's built-in flower vase.

Though some hardcore fans might be put out by the changes, VW is aiming to appeal to a broader customer base, including more men. In addition to the exterior changes (among them: narrowed windows and a sharp crease along the side), the new model will include perks like a navigation system, upgraded engine, and ambient lighting. But when it goes on sale this fall, it will have competition that wasn't around when the New Beetle was first introduced, including the Mini Cooper and other funky designs like the Nissan Cube. VW won't yet say how much it costs. Click for another reinvented VW hippie classic. (Read more Volkswagen stories.)

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