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Oz-bound VW Beetle details emerge

Beetle up: Australian-bound Volkswagen Beetles will be powered by a frugal yet punchy 1.4-litre petrol engine.

Single launch variant for VW Beetle in Australia as convertible is leaked – by a toy

23 Aug 2012

VOLKSWAGEN looks set to keep things simple when it launches the second-generation New Beetle in Australia early next year, with just one variant – powered by a 118kW petrol engine – approved for sale here.

Volkswagen Group Australia manager of press and PR Karl Gehling today confirmed the single-variant Beetle line-up.

“That’s all there is,” he said, adding that receiving official Australian Design Rule (ADR) approval for import would not bring forward the planned launch date.

“It has always been coming and is not going to be coming any sooner, despite the fact the data is out there ... it is a matter of processing.”

The Beetle was originally slated for a late-2012 launch, but was delayed due to a hectic Australian new product schedule and also to get VW off to a good start in the New Year with an “emotional” model.

Documents viewed by GoAuto show the single Beetle variant, designated 118TSI, will be offered with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

Alloy wheel sizes ranging from 16-inch to 19-inch have been approved and options will include a sunroof and premium gas-discharge headlights, along with front fog lights and a static cornering-light function.

When paired with the seven-speed DSG transmission, the forced-induction 1.4-litre engine returns impressive fuel consumption of 5.9L/100km, a 34 per cent improvement over with the equivalent Audi-sourced 110kW 1.8-litre turbo-petrol unit of the superseded model.

3 center imageLeft: VW E-Bugster and scale-model production car preview of the Beetle Cabriolet.

Meanwhile, the still unseen convertible version – previewed by the E-Bugster concept at the Beijing motor show in April – has been leaked across the Internet in the form of a die-cast 1:43 scale model.

Various model car websites and eBay traders are carrying adverts for the model in various colours and sold in official-looking VW-branded packaging.

The models are made by German model brand Schuco and called ‘Dealer Edition 1/43 VW Beetle Cabriolet’, suggesting they were intended to be sold by Volkswagen dealers but somehow got distributed before the drop-top Beetle’s official launch.

In July, Volkswagen announced it would launch the Beetle Cabriolet in the United States toward the end of this year, suggesting a possible late November appearance at the Los Angeles motor show.

Although the Beetle will launch here with just the one engine, VW has form with introducing extra variants as time goes on – and one of these could arise from the sporty Beetle R concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show last September.

The original New Beetle, launched here in January 2000, started out with an 85kW/170Nm 2.0-litre engine, which was joined almost two years later by the 110kW unit.

A few months after that, the base engine was downgraded to a 75kW/148Nm 1.6-litre unit, then the 2.0-litre engine returned to power the convertible that joined the range in mid-2003.

Finally, a manual-only 77kW/250Nm 1.9-litre turbo-diesel variant joined the range.

For a relatively niche model, Volkswagen sold a respectable 6976 examples of the long-lived New Beetle in Australia during its almost 12-year showroom lifespan, while 741 convertibles also found homes.

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