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Beetle juiced

Back to the future: Five-year-old Ragster concept could preview next New Beetle.

Not-so-new Beetle production to end after 12 years as VW plans another rebirth

3 May 2010

VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed the end of production for its New Beetle, which was launched in 1998, fuelling recent speculation the German giant will debut another born-again retro-hatch at the Los Angeles motor show in November.

The company has urged potential customers to place their orders now for the outgoing Beetle hard-top and Beetle Cabriolet, before current supplies dry up.

“Customers will still be able to purchase New Beetle models from the available dealer stock until stock runs out,” said Volkswagen Group Australia last week.

3 center image Left: New Beetle BlackOrange limited-edition cabrio and hatch range.

The announcement follows confirmation by Volkswagen Group of America CEO Stefan Jacoby, speaking at a Volkswagen event in Germany last year, that (another) new Beetle will debut in 2012.

According to Autoweek, the next Beetle will employ Volkswagen's 2.0-litre four-cylinder and new 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engines, as well as 1.4-litre petrol-electric hybrid drive system.

Reports also suggest the next-generation Beetle will be based on the same platform of Volkswagen’s new Jetta sedan, which will be launched globally mid-year, make it larger and, potentially, dynamically superior than the current Beetle, which shares its PQ34 underpinnings with the Mk4 Golf and Audi’s original TT.

Expected to emerge with evolutionary – rather than revolutionary styling – the next Beetle should come with more interior space and similar proportions. Likely to be less effeminate, the new model should receive an aggression injection in the form of the flatter roofline previewed by Volkswagen’s 2005 Ragster concept.

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