Volkswagen Debuts the Sportiest, Most Fuel-Efficient Beetle Ever
Automotive Icon Gets a Major 21st Century Update
Wolfsburg / Shanghai / Berlin / New York – When the first Beetle rolled off the production line, it was called simply the Volkswagen — “the people’s car” — but its distinctive shape inspired nicknames across the globe: Beetle, Käfer, Vocho, Coccinelle, Fusca, Maggiolino or 甲壳虫! In total, 21.5 million cars were sold.
More than 60 years later, in 1998, the “New Beetle” rekindled the spirit and imagination of the original to a new generation of Volkswagen owners. The second generation version sparked another round of uplifting and joyous enthusiasm known as Beetle Mania.
Today, the Beetle opens a new chapter in its remarkable story. The third generation of the internationally beloved Beetle is celebrating a transcontinental world debut simultaneously in Shanghai, Berlin and New York.
Updating an icon
Only someone who knows and respects the Beetle’s heritage could produce a new generation of this storied vehicle. The task for Volkswagen engineers was clear. They had to develop a modern interpretation of the Beetle, with all the benefits of today’s technologies and efficiencies, and the driving characteristics that define the Volkswagen brand. The result had to remain affordable and stay true to the Beetle’s spirit and great heritage.
The design of the new Beetle presented another challenge. How does one reinvent a look that is so recognizable and unique? Volkswagen Group Design Chief Walter de Silva and Volkswagen Brand Design Chief, Klaus Bischoff, welcomed the task and set an ambitious objective: “Design a new original!”
The designers wanted to develop the new car around the earliest Beetle profile rather than the 1998 New Beetle. They wanted a car that respects the past but looks toward the future. And that is what they created.