Written by Stephen Hurrell ▼

2012 Volkswagen Beetle revealed

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Volkswagen has revealed the latest version of the long-running Beetle, and it has dropped the effeminate styling that dogged the previous generation.

Confusingly, the new Beetle drops the ‘New Beetle’ tag used by the previous version as Volkswagen attempts to create a more universal small car.

Volkswagen itself has admitted it has ‘moved away’ from the design of the previous version and instead taken inspiration from both the original version and the Beetle Ragster concept car first unveiled in 2005.

This means the scrapping of the jar in the dashboard to be replaced by a clean and more grown up exterior, complete with red leather highlights to the upholstery.

Outside, the car is flatter and longer, looking much more like a coupe than the bubble-shaped previous version.

The car now sits on a longer wheelbase for 2012, and adds over 100 litres of boot space to the previous 209-litre area.

Capable of seating four, the 2012 Beetle will be available in three trim levels; Beetle, Design and Sport.

Higher specification models will benefit from a panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights.

The choice of powertrains will comprise three petrol engines and a single diesel unit. The petrol engines comprise 1.2-, 1.4- and 2.0-litre engines delivering 104, 158 and 197bhp respectively.

The diesel unit is a 1.6-litre 1.4bhp diesel unit which falls under Volkswagen’s environmentally-friendly BlueMotion range.

CO2 emissions will be 112g/km and although this is above the 100g/km threshold for Band A of VED, it will result in free VED for the first year followed by £30 in subsequent years.

Stop/Start technology and battery regeneration systems help to save fuel and boost economy to 65.7mpg on the combined cycle, according to Volkswagen estimates, but a final figure will be announced closer to launch date.

The new Volkswagen Beetle will be available to order in the UK this summer, but buyers will have to wait until early in 2012 to get behind the wheel of the newest model in the 73 year old Volkswagen Beetle line.