Volkswagen‘s main goal for the redesigned, sleeker Beetle was to appeal to the less fairer sex. So they’ve ditched the flower vase, lowered the roofline, employed turbo power, and even made it more fuel-efficient. Will manly men drive to steakhouses, gun ranges and the gym in the 2012 Beetle?
It’s an evolved look, but it’s already more aggressive than the outgoing bubble. The new Beetle (that’s not called “New Beetle,” mercifully) is 3.3 inches wider, half an inch lower, and 6 inches longer. It’s a smooth, more handsome look, and it’s still immediately recognizable as a Beetle—take that how you will.
The engine is still in the front, and there are three available: a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder at 170 horsepower and two turbocharged models. One is a 2-liter TDI at 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, and the other is a 200-horsepower four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s also 2.0 liters. The diesel can achieve 33-mpg combined (29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway), and the gasoline four comes with a neat two-tone spoiler on the back. Manly!
The interior loses the round cuteness of the last generation’s and—mercifully enough—its harsh plastics too; its piano-black surface brings it in line with the rest of the current VW lineup, and is sufficiently monotone and dour enough to fit into rational German standards. Manly! Plastics and fit/finish are much improved, and the top of the range can be available with splashy red seats.
No word on whether it comes with a gun rack, straight pipes or other manly accoutrements.
GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle
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