One of the most iconic cars of all times has to be the Volkswagen Beetle. Hitler’s dream to provide mobility to the common man in Germany resulted in the birth of this automobile. However, cut to the modern times and the Beetle has become more of a luxury thing. Well, atleast in India it is. After all, Rs 25 lakhs isn’t a small amount, is it? Add to that this was only the ex-show room price of the same. India is definitely a sucker as far as cars are concerned. The current Beetle which we have on sale here is actually or internationally the 2009 version. Plus the fact that it is highly priced due to the CBU factor cutting in. Doesn’t seem fair enough. VW India are mulling over the thought of bringing in their 2012 Volkswagen Beetle in India by the year 2012 or probably by 2013. We have got a sneak preview of what to expect from the 2012 Beetle and needless to say, once it is launched, a review or test drive of the same would definitely follow.
First of all, VW, globally have named this 2012 model as the The Beetle. The earlier one was known as new Beetle. The look of the new Beetle that VW unveiled in some show earlier on this year is what will comprise of the 2012 model. The crystal clear head lamps as also the multi reflectors within them are definitely going to be eye catching. The rake of the bonnet is now a tad squarish instead of the round one which was there earlier. The air splitter has got a wide intake just like the one in the Vento and like the new corporate philosophy going around in the VW camp, this one also makes do with a straight face. A thin chrome line also makes its presence felt in the air splitter. There is no triple bubble design and everything seems more straighter here. The 16 inch wheels are the newest thing here. The alloy wheel design is similar to some of the Rolls Royce ones. Excellent and would be delicious if it makes its way to India. It is rumored that this alloy wheel design itself will cost a whooping Rs 80k. This new Beetle is longer by 152 mm while the ride height has been lowered by 12 mm. Towards the rear, there is a body colored spoiler and smoked out tail lamps. The spoiler, unfortunately, doesn’t retract back when the speeds rise. Strange, but some cost cutting has to be done to make it affordable. Moreover, just like all the other VW cars, even this one has got a swiveling logo at the end which ends up as the boot opener as well.
The way, people were disappointed with the new Jetta for its inferior interior quality, even the 2012 Beetle would bring in a disappointment to those used with the VW quality. The plastics are on the harder side and though the general levels of equipment has been increased to a great extent, the quality level has gone down. There is the new touch screen infotainment system which also doubles up as the navigation system. The upper dash gets fake wood trim while the lower one gets beige ones. As opposed to the current version wherein VW had plonked in a flower vase, the newer one makes do without it. The steering wheel now comes with audio as also cruise control buttons on it. Apart from the regular dials showing the speed, fuel level and also the rev counter, additional dials can be planted on the dashboard by paying approximately Rs 20k. These dials would include the lap timer, temperature gauge and also the boost gauge. The seats are the best in the business and make do with adequate side bolstering as also lateral support. This was for the front seats. The rear ones in the meanwhile remain unchanged from the previous model, however the almost straight roofline for the new version means that passengers in the rear would have more of a head room coming in for them. The boot space has improved a bit and this would allow one more golf stick to be carried in its fold.
The suspension for the North American versions of the 2012 Beetle are hard and most likely, the same one wouldn’t make it to India. There is the modern multi-link rear set-up in the suspension. However, it is still said that this car isn’t quite supple over the bumps and all. Infact, it does have a better handling to boot for. The wider track has really contributed to its agility and this makes it all the more better. VW wouldn’t be offering all wheel drive and the Beetle would most probably maintain its front wheel drive proposition. Noise levels also have been damped to a great extent by the engineers at VW and the engine noise from the 2.0 liter TFSI motor isn’t all that permeating inside the cabin.
The current engine in the Volkswagen Beetle in India is a 2.0 liter non turbo petrol one. For the 2012 version, it would most likely be the 2.0 liter TFSI unit. It is said to produce power in excess of 150 Bhp and torque in the range of 220 Nm. A 6 speed manual will be standard while the 6 speed DSG would be an added option. Lap timing for the 0-100 kmph is said to be done only under the 8 seconds mark for either transmission option. Sadly enough, VW India aren’t keen to offer paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. For handling all those extra power, the brakes would be uprated as well and would have better stopping power than the older ones. Moreover, with TFSI technology to boot for, there is not much to cry for fuel efficiency and for the Indian cycle, it would return approximately 13 kmpl.
The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle in India would either be launched towards the end of 2012 or in 2013. The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle price in India would be around the Rs 36 lakhs mark price, up by a cool Rs 10 lakhs. At this price, it is scheduled to be a show piece in most of the show rooms.