What seemed like yesterday I heard the news that Volkswagen was bringing the beetle back. This was in 1997 when my aunt sent me pictures of the ‘new’ beetle still wrapped in plastic because it was not fully launched yet. To recap, the original beetle was a success selling over 21 million world wide which makes it the most sold automobile (on a single platform) ever. Than in 1998 the ‘new’ beetle was officially released and sales were great, as expected. As the years went on the style began to play itself out. The ‘new’ beetle was seen as a chick car, despite people such as T.O. owning one. This was an OK strategy for Volkswagen being as people were still buying them, but they were nowhere close to the Golf or Jetta platform.
The ‘new’ beetle was Volkswagen’s only convertible for the greater part of the early 2000′s (2001-present). As soon as Volkswagen launched the EOS’s (2006-present) there was talk about what was going to happen to the ‘new’ beetle. The convertible option was one of the aspects that was really holding it in the market so as soon as the EOS’s (only model was convertible) we (Volkswagen enthusiasts) knew the sneaky executives and designer’s were up to something.
If you recall the past Superbowl Volkswagen indulged themselves in overpriced advertising. They had a commercial featuring a little boy pretending to be Darth Vador which was promoting the new 2012 Passat. This video went viral and currently has over 35 million hits on Youtube. The other video was a beetle (insect) running through a jungle scene ending with a silhouette of what would be the NEW ‘new’ beetle. This video had a lot of success as well on Youtube with almost 4 million hits. If you are the average Joe this was the first time ever hearing about a NEW ‘new’ beetle. The only thing that everyone has in common about this NEW ‘new’ beetle is that no one knows what it really will look like. Some people have created their own take on what it would look like, based on the silhouette (seen above).
This is the best rendering I could find:
The most exciting part about the NEW ‘new’ beetle is how they really focused on the original beetle’s lines. The front is lower and longer and the roof runs down into the rear window and continues through the rear hatch to the bottom of the rear bumper. With growing up in a Volkswagen family and having a father who had a ’69 Beetle the image above gives me butterfly’s in my stomach. It has all modern technology which gives the driver the reliability and convenience but still has the same visual appeal of the original. Now I know this can never replace the feel of the original beetle: Loud, Rough, Slow, Unreliable, Simple, Terrible Heat, No AC, limited stereo, rear-engine, rear wheel drive, but it allows the consumer’s to have a peice of history with modern comforts.
Volkswagen has teamed up with MTV & the Black Eyed Peas to unveil the 2012 NEW ‘new’ beetle in New York City on April 18th. I don’t know about you but April 18th 2011 has been penciled in my calenders and will be treated as if it was Christmas. We do live in a time where nothing is a secret. Everything and anything leaks onto the internet like top-secret government documents, so I do not see a reason for a picture to not be released. If Volkswagen can keep the images hidden we will all have to wait patiently (and impatiently) until April 18th.
Volkswagen NEW ‘new’ Beetle Commercial: Black Betty
Volkswagen 2012 New Passat Commercial: The Force
*This will be updated if I find anything else.