Advertisement
Find a Car
Go!

2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Lady Bug Pitches The Flower Vase, Goes Butch

Follow Bengt

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Earlier this week, Volkswagen officially revealed the all-new 2012 VW Beetle. After months of teases, the slightly more relaxed silhouette and softened 'Beetle dome' wasn't so much of a surprise. Yet the exterior details, which come across as less soft and carefree, more sporty and aggressive, hint that this is no love bug.

And then there's the interior. The original New Beetle came with an interior that looked nothing—absolutely nothing—like that of the Golf, Jetta, or GTI with which it shared some underpinnings. However, the new version of the Beetle trades off the distinctive for a sporty but somewhat ordinary looking instrument panel.

Out with the flower vase, in with the Fender sound system

Processing the design decisions, it's hard to ignore that Volkswagen is clearly trying to make the new (note the lower case) Beetle more butch. The outgoing New Beetle has, for years, landed near the top among vehicles purchased by (and driven by) women, and the flower vase might have had something to do with it.

That flower vase is now gone, replaced by an available modern navigation system, a large glass roof, and a sound system co-developed with the guitar-and-amp maker Fender. If VW has its way, it's a lady bug no more.

But is it losing its charm in the process? Earlier this week, in a live chat, we started to tackle such questions, and it's worth thinking about the mark that the New Beetle has made on car culture. It's essentially the car that kicked off (at least for the U.S.) the whole retro-styling revolution, with a host of 'deliberately retro' or 'retro-fashionable' models like the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chevrolet HHR, and the Mini Cooper following suit.

Of those, the one that had the most ordinary interior—the Chevrolet HHR—has never clicked as a must-have vehicle and has been relegated to fleets, largely.

Women felt like flower girls; men felt like Pee Wee?

The New Beetle rolled out for 1998, which proved perfect timing to both capitalize on aging, empty-nester Boomers who felt nostalgic for a time of patchouli and flower power—but what made it such a lasting, phenomenal sales success is that it also appealed strongly to the daughters (and sons) of that generation.


 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (7)
  1. I LIKE IT... NICE!
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. I would have loved a bit more edge, but the engines and sound, and interior are wonderful. we will see.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. 4 Motion or all wheel drive needs to be added to the options list for all engines and trim levels right out of the gate for all who want it. I am happy to see that it will have an option of real leather, and not just that fake V-Tex leatherette. Ah yes, it will now have a proper rook antenna, instead of one that was a vandals dream.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. Like it way more than the 1st NEW beetle, but it still looks like a Humvee took a dump. If I had the money to have more cars + wanted a VW it would be a late 60's beetle or Ghia ragtop. Or a split-window beach special... Guess I'm just old.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  5. Butch!?!?!? What about reliability? The New Beetle I had was very poorly built, had a ton of problems after the first couple years, expensive to repair, and definitely a "Slug Bug." Somehow the cute factor wore off very quickly when the repair bills started, as did the recalls, which were still being sent to me long after I sold it. Maybe if they would pay workers in Mexico more dinero they could get better builds on these New Beetles. Oh, I almost forget to mention the terrible service from two local dealers. New Beetle and VDubs in general need better quality, better dealer service departments and more reliability. Without those in place, "cute" and "butch" tend to wear off quickly!
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  6. FUN!! A car reflects personality. It was fun then, and it looks fun now. I'd luv one!!! woo-hoo!!!!!
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. Sweet!! It looks sort of like a Porsche! If I had the extra money, this would be a really cool car to own.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Take Us With You!
   
Advertisement

More From High Gear Media


 
 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC. Send us feedback.