Once upon a time, there was a Volkswagen executive who couldn’t figure out how to get American consumers emotionally invested in his brand. Then one day it hit him: why not re-skin the Golf as a Beetle? It could be less practical and efficient than its donor car, but baby boomers would buy it in Costco volumes anyway, for the sheer gauzy nostalgia of it. After flogging that Beetle for 12 years, through two successive updates to the car it was based on, it was time to update the old classic. But how?
Luckily history had an answer. Following the example of Beetle tuner/modders at the end of the original Beetle’s lifespan, VW apparently chopped the roof, exaggerated the fenders and called it good. Perhaps with the goal of making for a more “original” feel, the windscreen appears to have been moved back as well. Unfortunately tough, the change simply emphasizes the front-engine proportions, making the end result more reminiscent of a Morris Minor than the ur-Käfer. But, as the Volkswagen executive had learned by now, Americans don’t notice that stuff. The only remaining problem: how to avoid calling it “The new New Beetle.”