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August 11, 2011

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Volkswagen starts production of the new Beetle in Mexico

Wolfsburg / Puebla - Volkswagen officially began production of the new Beetle in Puebla, Mexico on July 15, 2011. On this occasion Dr. Guido Westerwelle, the Federal Foreign Minister, Felipe Calderón, the Mexican President, and Hubert Waltl, Board Member for Production and Logistics at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, visited the Volkswagen plant in Mexico.

“The Beetle is a strong symbol of our brand. It combines the emotional heritage of the original Beetle with the future of Volkswagen,” Hubert Waltl said in Puebla. “At the same time, the new Beetle and the engine plant we are building in Silao represent the great confidence we place in Mexico as a manufacturing location. As one of the main manufacturers of compact class vehicles, Volkswagen de México is a key building block in our growth strategy for North America.” Some 300 guests from politics and industry attended the ceremony in Puebla.

Beetle of the year 2011 as the icon of a new era

Those who want to drive a car that shows emotions, offers dynamic performance, and yet provides lots of space – and as number 1 in the car pool masters everyday tasks and long journeys – will in the future think of the Beetle. This should be noted straight away, because dynamic performance alone no longer suffices: at 4.3 l/100 km (European 1.6 TDI) and 33 mpg (American 2.0 TDI), the new car is the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever.


Entirely new proportions

The figures confirm this: the new one is 1,808 mm wide (84 mm wider), 1,486 mm high (12 mm lower) and 4,278 mm long (152 mm longer). This has resulted in entirely new proportions. The gain in length means that the roof could be extended further, the front windscreen could be shifted back, and the rear section could follow the contour of the original Beetle. The new focal point is the C-pillar. In parallel, the development team increased the car’s track widths (front: 1,578 mm with gain of 63 mm; rear: 1,544 mm with gain 49 mm) and wheelbase (2,537 mm with gain of 22 mm). All of this gives the Beetle a powerful appearance with muscular tension.

In Europe, America and Australia / New Zealand, the Volkswagen will launch on the market in the 3 equipment lines "Beetle" (base version), "Design" (mid line) and "Sport" (top version). In China, the "Design" and "Sport" versions will be offered. Each of the equipment lines has an entirely independent character.

Black Turbo and White Turbo at launch

For the market launches in Europe and the USA, Volkswagen has created 2 very special versions – the "Black Turbo" and "White Turbo" – which are based on the high-performance Beetle Sport 2.0 TSI DSG (147 kW / 200 PS). They will be available alongside the other equipment lines. In the USA, the Beetle White Turbo will be delivered with a "Candy White" exterior, while in European countries the body colour will be "Pure White". On both sides of the Atlantic, the Beetle Black Turbo is painted in "Deep Black". Exterior features of the special editions include the "Turbo" signature on the sides (above the side sills) and on the colour-contrasting mirrors and wheels: on the White Turbo Beetle, the machine polished "Tornado" alloy wheels are in black as are the door mirror housings; on the Black Turbo Beetle, both of these features are trimmed in White. Inside, meanwhile, the dashboard, steering wheel badge and door panels are painted in body colour.

The car’s styling, ergonomics, operability and quality interact to create a new, friendly car with a highly individual nature. In addition, it offers everyday practicality: 4 adults have plenty of space, even on long journeys, and the boot can handle up to 905 litres of luggage. The panoramic tilt/slide sunroof lets the sunshine in during the winter, and a Fender sound system entertains during the drive. The Keyless Access locking and engine starting system is available for the first time in the Beetle; it operates without a traditional door or ignition key. And the latest generation engines ensure that the environment and budgets are impacted as little as possible. Engine power outputs range between 77 kW / 105 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. The most fuel-efficient engine for Europe – the 1.6 TDI with 105 PS – consumes the noted 4.3 l/100 km. In the USA, the most fuel-efficient engine is the 2.0 TDI, which attains a Highway fuel economy of 40 mpg and offers fun that is in harmony with the environment.

Tell me your name!

This time, there really is a country-specific nickname on the back of the car – that is, a name like Käfer, Beetle, Vocho, Coccinelle, Fusca, Maggiolino or 甲壳虫.

Only if the customer wants this, of course. If a country really exists whose vernacular does not include a nickname for the bestseller, this is not a problem either: the Beetle signature can be selected. And of course there is another name available as an option: Volkswagen!

Photos: VW/Automotive Intelligence

(July 31, 2011)

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