Volkswagen Rolls Out New Beetle, Ups U.S. Production

It’s not going to be much like your uncle’s old “VW bug” but the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle might be the kind of ride that you want for blending compact size with the latest in modern engineering.


The German auto maker is promoting a re-design for the Volkswagen Beetle next year, while opening its mammoth production plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee as previously reported on this blog. The new U.S. plant is mainly going to turn out the new Volkswagen Passat, according to industry reports, but it’s likely that lots of American buyers are going to also be looking at the diminutive compact, which is much cheaper and, for many of us, brings to mind nostalgia for times past.


Those old Volkswagen Beetle designs spoke of the days of simple mechanical rides, where many a classic VW driver kept a time-worn copy of the “How to Fix Your VW Bug” guide in the closet next to the spare oil and pan. The new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle design? Well, let’s just say VW is turning several pages. Even the last model, the 2010 Beetle, looks more like something from the space age than a replica of those ancient little rounded cars that you hardly ever see on American roads anymore. Now, after a brief hiatus for the car, Volkswagen is set to unveil the new Beetle and its eco-friendly, efficient design in a “Think Blue” campaign, intended to show American audiences how much thought the manufacturer has put into each 2012 Beetle that rolls off of the line.


Top auto review site Edmunds provides a little more detail on the last incarnation of the car: the 2010 Volkswagen Beetle model, according to Edmunds reviewers, was “fun for cruising” and pretty good on mpg. The new model will still utilize the unique five-cylinder engine design that made the 2010 VW Beetle so intriguing, but with additional fuel-saving engineering and more for today’s driver. It also carries a much lower price tag than the Passat: while the 2010 Passat carried a base price of about $27,000, the 2010 VW Beetle sells for around $18,600.


For those who need to go to the financing desk to get their new Beetle, beware: a list of rebates and incentives from the manufacturer shows little, if anything, to help customers get a 2010 Beetle for less, where other models come with reduced financing rates, cash-back incentives, and other offers. However, all of that could change when VW rolls out the brand new Beetle in coming months. Look for the best deals that your participating dealership has to offer if you want to be one of those “new Beetle drivers.”