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There’s no doubt that the redesigned 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is sportier and less “bubbly” than the previous model, but is it really attracting more male buyers?
When Volkswagen released its New Beetle in 1998, it was clearly built for the female demographic with its cute, round body and flower vase. Try as it might, the German automaker was unable to shake that image over the last decade until the newer Beetle debuted.
“One of the goals, obviously, was to potentially attract a more-balanced buyer group,” said Tim Mahoney, VW’s U.S. chief product and marketing officer said. “We’re seeing that happen.”
According to sales statistics of the new 2012 VW Beetle that hit dealerships in September of 2011, 43-percent of its buyers in America are men. Compared to the 29-percent from a year earlier with the older model. In December alone, half of Beetle buyers were male compared to the 36-percent a year earlier.
Even still, we’re not convinced the “chick car” stigma is really gone. It’s still easy to imagine the ribbing you might get after pulling up to your buddy’s place in one of these.
It may have been a big deal when it launched back in 1998 but the New Beetle just doesn’t have the staying power of the original. Volkswagen has announced the “Final Edition” model of the car, unveiling both the limited edition coupe and convertible models at the LA Auto Show.
VW will build 1,500 units each of both the coupe and convertible with a special Aquarius Blue paint. The coupe gets a black roof, while the convertible gets a two-tone paint job with Aquarius Blue and Campanella White paint. In addition, these Final Edition models will get a “sports suspension” and 17-inch wheels. Under the hood, things stay familiar with a 150-hp 2.5-liter five-cylinder and six-seed Tiptronic transmission.
Pricing for the new Final Edition models is set at $20,240 for the coupe and $27,170 for the convertible.
GALLERY: 2010 VW New Beetle “Final Edition” Coupe and Convertible
Official release after the jump: