Shanghai Auto Show: Launch Of The Retro Rockets - New New Beetle Edition

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
shanghai auto show launch of the retro rockets new new beetle edition

It’s odd that China’s two largest carmakers, Volkswagen and GM chose Shanghai as the launchpad of their retro cars. After all, the 50s and 60s have zero appeal in China. Nobody thinks of Rock’n’Roll when they think back in China. Those were the forgotten times of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The iconic cars of China’s past are the Santana, the Buick Century, the Jeep Cherokee of the 1980s and 1990s.

73 years after the original Beetle was launched, 13 years since the first-edition New Beetle came out, a new New Beetle took the stage in Shanghai.

Volkswagen wisely dropped any historic cues. The beginnings of the Beetle were in a likewise dark era in Germany. Volkswagen also dropped the new in Beetle. After all, New New Beetle would have been a bit much.

Ulrich Hackenberg. Chief of R&D at Volkswagen said the Beetle has “added testosterone.” That’s needed, because the predecessor was pretty much of a lady’s car. Or a car for people who feel like ladies. The Beetle, or “Jia Ke Chong“ as they call it in China in the rare moments they ever see one (it is not locally produced) has a longer wheelbase, a bigger trunk, is less effeminate, and reminds more of the original Käfer.

Basic facts:

Market launch, North America: September / October 2011

Market launch, Europe: October / November 2011

Market launch, Asia: February 2012

Market launch, South America: late 2012 / early 2013

Engine power range: 77 kW / 105 PS to 147 kW / 200 PS

Lowest fuel consumption (combined), Europe: 4.3* l/100 km (1.6 TDI)

Fuel economy (combined) USA: 33 mpg* (2.0 TDI)

Engine specifications: all petrol engines are charged TSI engines (except 2.5-litre engine for USA); all diesels are new common rail TDI engines; all engines meet Euro-5 emissions standard; all US engines fulfil BIN5 / ULEV PZEV

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  • Junebug Junebug on Apr 21, 2011

    It's the only car besides the Focus RS that I have any interest in seeing in person. I love the black and red seats!!!

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Apr 21, 2011

    Holy crap am I seeing things? Red in the interior! Say it isn't so. The car looks to be a good update on the previous model. Lets hope the drivetrains are improved.

  • Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
  • Tassos I know some would want to own a collectible Mustang. (sure as hell not me. This crappy 'secretary's car' (that was exactly its intended buying demo) was as sophisticated (transl. : CRUDE) as the FLintstone's mobile. Solid Real Axle? Are you effing kidding me?There is a huge number of these around, so they are neither expensive nor valuable.WHen it came out, it was $2,000 or so new. A colleague bought a recent one with the stupid Ecoboost which also promised good fuel economy. He drives a hard bargain and spends time shopping and I remember he paid $37k ( the fool only bought domestic crap, but luckily he is good with his hands and can fix lots of stuff on them).He told me that the alleged fuel economy is obtained only if you drive it like a VERY old lady. WHich defeats the purpose, of course, you might as well buy a used Toyota Yaris (not even a Corolla).
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.