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Volkswagen Beetle

A5 Beetle

1 Feb 2013

VOLKSWAGEN’S iconic Beetle – just the third in 75 years – arrived in only one body style (coupe), one engine choice and two transmission options.

The front wheels were driven by a front-mounted 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger (turbocharged and supercharged) four-cylinder petrol engine, pumping out 118kW of power and 240Nm of torque.

The standard car came with a six-speed manual gearbox, while a seven-speed DSG – the only gearbox available in the limited-edition (200 units) Fender – is also available.

This Beetle model used an updated PQ35 architecture introduced in the 2003 Golf V and previous Jetta.

However, even though the MacPherson strut front suspension was maintained, the rear is via a simpler torsion beam axle.

Steering is by electro-mechanical rack-and-pinion, the front brakes are ventilated discs, and the rears employ solid discs.

At 4278mm long, 1808mm wide and 1477mm high, the newcomer is 149mm longer and 87mm wider but 21mm lower than before, while the 2524mm wheelbase is 8mm longer.

The result helped this car’s designers to fashion a more coupe-like silhouette that is meant to evoke the original Typ-1 Beetle’s proportions better than the outgoing car, as demonstrated by an elongated rear roofline, more upright windscreen, demarcated mudguard joins, rounder headlights and a much shallower dash panel.

Significantly improved interior packaging – a previous bugbear – is the welcome result, with the two rear passengers being better accommodated.

Divisive ’90s motifs such as daisy vases vanished, replaced by less flowery Typ-1 signature items including body-painted interior panels and a dash-mounted glovebox lid.

Boot space increased from 209 litres to 310, aided by a split/fold rear seat.

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