By on July 10, 2008

Let\'s hope it looks a little better....Motor Trend (MT) is filling-up bandwidth and hyping-up baby boomers with a post on the forthcoming New Beetle Mk II. The bulk of it isn't all that earth-shattering: there will be a new New Beetle. MT reckons it will be based on the next Golf and it should arrive in 2010. There will likely be a hybrid version. Motor Trend says VW should (or could) make the New Beetle a hybrid-only model since "its distinctive style lends it the same kind of instant recognition as the Toyota Prius." Except that the Prius is actually aerodynamic; a far more important feature for efficiency-oriented cars than boomer nostalgiamobiles. But that isn't even MT's wildest bit of speculation. They speculate that VW's forthcoming city car, the up! could be restyled to look like a "Baby Beetle." Hmmm. The VW up! was planned as a rear-engine car, and it will cost enough to place it in the "small-but-premium" category. By giving it a Beetle-inspired shape, VW could use nostalgia to trump the price point. A light, rear-engined baby Beetle would capture more of the original kaeferwagen's appeal than another reskinned Golf. But there's a small problem with the theory. As Mr Berkowitz pointed out, the up! is no la rear-engine, rear-wheel drive car. That doesn't mean a baby Beetle isn't coming. But if it does, it will be just another reskinned FWD VW. Or will it?

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17 Comments on “Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: VW up! To Become Baby Beetle?...”

  • avatar

    In view of future economy requirements and Porsche’s imminent purchase of VW, perhaps this will be the replacement for the 911.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Like every other Boomer, I owned a Bettle way back when. They were cheap, but they were nasty. What I don’t remember* is the mileage that they got with those miserable little motors. Does anybody know?

    Gave it to my Brother 36 years ago.

  • avatar

    Robert Schwartz my brother went through a big VW phase recently owning about 5 Bettles and 3 busses in the last 5 years. The best mileage he got out of the bettles was low 20’s, but they were easy to work on and cheap. The best he got out of the flying bricks was 17 mpg highway, terrible mileage for the nonexistant power you had to deal with. Since given up on VW after he sold the New Bettle TDI he had for 3 months and loves his Merc 300TD on vegetable oil. The 1200 mile trip out to my parents cost him $50 in oil, can’t beat that.

  • avatar

    Beetles were good for somewhere between 25 and 30 mpg, max.

    Those if us unfortunate enough to be stuck driving the Automatic Stick Shift version (unfortunate acronym!), did slightly worse.

  • avatar

    Old school beetles were so bad I’m still surprised anyone wanted to bring them back. They were loud, had hard seats, and never had any heat in the winter. And they were miserably slow. And the suspension was softer than Red Ink Rick’s head.

    I’m sure a rear engined 1100cc VW would sell well again, if it got great mileage. You could even cheat and make it a diesel and no one would mind. It’d be a great way for VW to market a distinct competency of theirs.

  • avatar

    I hope putting the Beetle on this platform and this one only, would bring the price down. As it stands it competes with cars that have far more utility,two extra doors,nicer interiors,AWD,longer warranties ect. This car needs the RX8 style doors and a wider hatch to make it more useful.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Robert Schwartz Says: What I don’t remember* is the mileage that they got with those miserable little motors. Does anybody know?

    The old 1200cc (36/40hp) would consistently get 32mpg. The mileage went down as the engine size and powere wnt up. Later versions got 25-28mpg.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a 1965 and a 1961 vw beetle, they both run the stock 1200cc motors and i get 36.2 mpg and 39.2mpg….i drive it conservative and get amazing mileage…I tune it myself and dont spend much money at doing it: SPARK PLUGS, 99cents x 4, oil only 3 quarts, oil pan gaskets 1.99 and things like that, i adjust the valves every oil change and without exaggerating, it takes me: 45 minutes tops to do all in may backyard…
      by the way, the only non stock is the pertronix electronic ignition to avoid the points and condenser, thats it..
      I live in Seattle by the way and the heather is in great condition, takes time to get warm and voila, not a problem!

  • avatar

    If VW can make a bare-bones baby-Beetle with RWD and 40mpg, they’ll need 3 factories to keep up with demand. I’ll take mine in yellow, with crank windows and no power anything. Just give me a/c.

    Can you imagine? A true RWD car with the sensual and tactile road feel of a non-power-assisted steering rack?

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    They were great drivers at about 35-45 on secondary roads. Think 1930s roads. Torquey little motor at low loads. Tractable, within low limits.

    True, no heat or some heat plus exhaust in cabin, and plenty rust. No defrost on windshield, dangerous. brakes bad, but so were others then.

  • avatar

    look at it this way…

    The up! is basically a variation of the same theme as the Tata Nano. The Nano is poised to become the “peoples’ car” of the new millenium.

    All adds up(!), doesn’t it?

  • avatar

    Constantly complaining about the old Bug. I wonder whether any of the so-called baby boomers here ever had a new one or if they just were running down the old heaps handed down through the family that never saw a minimum amount of service in their life. True, the car was spartan-but that was the intent. Parts that don’t move can’t break. Getting 30 mpg out of any Bug engine if well adjusted and in good order is no miracle. As for the suspension, I never drove one that was soft. Sounds like people don’t know when to swap the shocks. You need to compare the car to it’s rivals at the time. It was the first true economical car in the US that had up to 400k sales annually .The whole VW company was build through it. The US’saurs at the time had all the gimmicks and heaters and were loaded with all the crap but did not work and you had to own your own oil well to sustain those bastards.
    If VW would have the guts to revive the idea of a simple but economical car just meeting the minimal standards of today, I agree they would need three plants to cover demand.

  • avatar

    I have had the pleasure of owning a 64,two 69s and two 71s. My parents owned and I drove a 411 a 71 bus and a 66 beetle. They loved them and so did I. My Uncle was a dealer so we had quite a love affair with the VW during the 60s and 70s. I would love to have a new 2010 rear engine beetle available to me once again in the future.

  • avatar

    Current owner of a 1.8t VW here, so I’m a fan, but I’m just wondering:

    What (other than FWD) prevents the Yaris liftback from being the modern Bug? It’s light, cheap, simple, reliable, and even a hatchback. Seems like a people’s car, by the recipe people are posting here, and it is selling well, but its certainly not a phenomenon. Does it just need to look cooler?

  • avatar

    What (other than FWD) prevents the Yaris liftback from being the modern Bug? It’s light, cheap, simple, reliable, and even a hatchback. Seems like a people’s car, by the recipe people are posting here, and it is selling well, but its certainly not a phenomenon. Does it just need to look cooler?

    I currently own a ’05 echo hatch back, which I love (drive a slow car fast mentality) and I have to say that my brother and I think the same thing. But then they are much more popular in the great white north than in the US. always thought the sedan version looked ill.

  • avatar

    No doubt-there are cars out today that get within the dust cloud of the bugs technical mentality.Toyota certainly offers such vehicles so does Dacia(A Renault derivative-unknown in the US) in Europe.The Nano will be a local fad certainly not being exported to 160 countries.
    Eventhough the bug was simple it was a complete Automobile that could take a lot of beating.As one journalist put it:”A poor design,perfectly executed”.I doubt that anything from China or India would meet the execution factor.

  • avatar
    Rich Ishere

    I was in Germany and picked up a car magazine with this car on the cover. What caught my eye was the statement across the cover “At Last! Rear Wheel drive”! I opened the magazine and sure enough, there was a long story about how the 2011 Bug will be rear wheel drive. Now this was about a year ago. I guess the idea died, or was a lie.

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