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Volkswagen Bug Reborn!

shredheadshredhead Posts: 3
edited February 28 in Volkswagen
I just got back from the International Auto Show here in San Jose, Ca
and was quite impressed with the new bug that was on display there.
The overall quality inside and out was very good. I was suprised to
see that they added a hathchback! Cool! I have a 65 bug and am always
having to put cargo into the area behind the rear seat. The car comes
with the engine in the front and will be available with a
couple of different versions. I talked to a salesman at another dealer
recently that said volkswagen was going to make a model with a 200hp
engine. Can anyone confirm this rumor? I think the best thing about
the car was the interior styling, wait till you see it!

Anyone else seen one of these cool cars up close? Please respond with
your thoughts. I am putting a message in the coupes conference to let
people know that the bug is now a hatchback.
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Comments

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    When I first saw your topic, I thought: that's wrong, the bug isn't a hatchback. Boy am I glad you are right. It sounds great! I haven't seen it up close -- the Washington DC car show was a crush, especially around the bug. Thanks for the info!
  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50
    Shredhead,

    That's an interesting name you got there.

    Anyway, it's pretty weird that the bug is a hatchback. It's a lot of things now that it wasn't way back when.

    My first impression of the New Beetle is not very optimistic. I must admit that I have yet to see this car face-to-face. The National Auto Show here in D.C. really disappointed me. I'm sure next year's will be a blast considering the appearance of a whole new line up from VW, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Audi's S4, and of course the 996 Carrera! (all of which should have been at this year's show)

    Well, back to my first impression. There's no mistake about it. The New Beetle is definitely a new Beetle and should always be called that. You can compare it to The New Kids On The Block. Although they've been around for a while, they'll always be the "new kids"! The New Beetle has very little to do with the original, except for maybe the word "Beetle". Here are the major differences:

    1)now front-mounted engine
    2)now obviously watercooled
    3)hatchback (whoa, easy!)
    4)now13 times more expensive ($16,500 base)
    5)now uses Golf chassis (factoid: almost every car VW made was based on the Golf chassis!)

    ...basically all of the major characteristics of the original Beetle have been tossed in creating the New Beetle. It makes one wonder if the spirit of the Beetle is alive in the New Beetle b/c none of it's characteristics are! Of course today's standards of safety and what not have contributed to this new incarnation.

    Hopefully VW did not make the New Beetle just for the sake of making a New Beetle b/c then one can perceive that very little inspiration went into this car. The original Beetle was a landmark in automotive history, and as it neared the end of its lifetime, the VW Golf took its place to make history. And when it's time for the Golf to leave the stage, appropriately there will be another star from VW. But why the New Beetle now? And what's with the flower vase, Flower Child?

    $16,500 for a 2.0L-powered New Beetle is strecthing it in my opinion. It's cute, I'll give it that, but is it anything more?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    I am told that the original VW Bug came with a bud vase too. I don't remember that, but then, I'm more of the used Bug generation...

    Has anyone been the first owner of an original VW Beetle? Did it really come with a bud vase?
  • I haven't seen this car up front yet, but one look at the photo and I'm in love. It's almost SAAB-like. I can't believe they're selling such a sporty-looking car for only $15,000. But then, it's only a bug -- I mean beetle!

    -Dan
  • Shredhead: in answer to that rumor, the Beetle will be getting the Audi A4 engine this fall. That engine is 150-hp, not 200, but it will still give the 2,700-lb. Beetle hp-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios close to those of a V6 Ford Contour or Pontiac Grand Am, which ain't too shabby. (The only Beetle I've ever seen do that was an aftermarket hot rod conversion some
    [non-permissible content removed] drove in high school -- that thing revved louder than a Who concert.)

    As for the appeal -- well, for $15,200, you can get a slice of Americana (so to speak) and a car widely perceived as being immensely cool. Yes, there are probably better deals out there on a lot of competing cars -- Civic, Escort, Corolla, Neon, Elantra/Tiburon, etc. -- but they don't
    have the same nostalgic appeal as the Beetle. That, in turn, will bring people to VW
    dealerships in droves, and a few of those folks who can't get their hands on a Beetle may be steered to a Golf or a Jetta, and customers will get better deals on those cars than on a Beetle, for which there will likely be 2-4 month waiting list in some areas.

    Yes, the New Beetle may not be more than a Golf with a new body, but this baby will find its market, without question. I expect to see 'em everywhere down here come April.
  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    I've followed the development of this car quite closely since the Concept 1 intro. In fact I've been able to get more info of the net than our dealer has access to. While I'm on the list to get one of the first 3 delivered he tells me it will be March 1. First run will be all 2.0 gas engines. Diesels will come later. No sunroofs in the first batch either but all will come with sport wheels and convenience package. He also tells me that his VW rep has driven the car in Germany and that it is just "Magic". Drives and handles like no other VW.
    Let the fun begin! Anybody else out there on the delivery list yet??
  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    To Carlady: Sorry, but I pretty much have to agree with the "Controversy" article. A car like this doesn't belong with an automatic. To really drive the vehicle it needs to have the stick. Before you judge too harshly, give them both a try. I think you'll agree.
    By the way, ordered mine today. Diesel with a stick. I can see the gas version with the automatic, but the Diesel absolutely "has" to have the stick. They shouldn't sell it any other way.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Sounds great! So, does it come with a free bouquet in the bud vase? Inquiring minds want to know!!
  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    Carlady: It appears that dealers will be asking and getting full retail. Most will probably adding a bunch of packs to boot. My local dealer is not talking about much margin to negotiate either. Claims dealers are only getting 8%. At this rate it should ,at least, have a bouquet of flowers. Maybe a box of candy too! Plan on seeing a lot of ADM's on window stickers for a while. Too much demand!
  • mckee4mckee4 Posts: 47
    I read in the Houston Chronicle car section
    yesterday that, there will only be 50,000
    new 'Bugs' available the first production year.
    That equals, to me, more demand than supply.
    Kind'uv like the Mazda Miata when it first came
    out. As excited as everybody seems to be, I
    personally will not subject myself to 'additional
    dealer mark-ups'. Let it get introduced and
    produced for a couple of years. Then prices may
    be more reasonable. Crud, if VW follows their
    own pattern, they'll be producing the 'beetles'
    in Mexico before too long. How'd you like to
    pay $ 16,000 U.S. for a car it only costs
    $ 7000.00 to produce south of the border. The other manufacturers do it too. On the bright side
    might be able to pick up a Golf or Jetta for more reasonable prices.
    prices too.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    You're right, mjb56! I'm holding out for flowers and candy! And automatic transmission! And a chauffeur! And, well, that's enough for now. ;-)
  • As I understand it, VW still makes the original Beetle in Mexico. If you could sneak one into this country and get U.S. registration, then you could have the real thing and not some hokey 1990's knock-off.
  • When are these beauties supposed to make it to the dealers so those of us who are not blessed with being able to go to a big city auto show can actually see one up close and personal and (be still my beating heart!) go for a test drive?
  • What don't I get in the New Beetle that I don't get in the Golf? Okay, the Golf doesn't have a flower vase, but they have same chassis/platform and same 2-liter engine. They have similar interior space (but you can have the Golf as a 4-door). And the Golf starts thousands less than the New Beetle! Okay, the Beetle is cuter, but I, for one, won't pay thousands more just for styling.

    I have a friend who still owns a '74 Beetle (4-speed manual). It's still very reliable (but really slow), but I'm skeptical that VW can recreate the cult of the original Beetle with the "new" Beetle.

    In my opinion, VW is producing the New Beetle for one reason only: pride. Currently, Beetle is THE MOST PRODUCED vehicle of all time, having produced over 22 million. Toyota Corolla is 2nd, with over 21 million copies, and since Corolla is still in production, it will overtake the Beetle as the most produced car in a few years. I guess VW has too much pride to let that happen. But I think VW is making a fatal mistake. Remember the Cadillac Cimarron (cira 1980)? It was a Chevy Cavalier with Cadillac badge and $4,000 higher sticker price.

    Golf and the Beetle are essentially the same vehicle and probabaly will end up destroying each other's sales on the market.

    For VW's defense, Golf GTI has Jetta's VR6 engine, while the Beetle will eventually get Audi/Passat's Turbo-4.
  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    Hey Drifter, Style is 90% of the reason that people by a particular type of car, and the last time I looked at a Golf, well, style was not it's long suite. Besides a lot more things are standard in the Beetle than they are in the Golf. Check out the VW Australia website. It's got the best specs and pictures of all the VW sites. Also from what I understand from the VW folks I've talked to, this platform is the next generation of Golf not the one currently being sold in the US. You'd best with hold judgement until you drive one.
  • Styling is 90% of the reason?!?!?! Reality check: Toyota Camry was the bestselling sedan in the US in '97, and I don't think 90% of its customers decided to buy it because of its styling. Or do you? I do believe that people bought Camrys for its refinement and the long-term reliability. If styling decided 90% of car purchases, the Intrepid or the Intrigue would've been the bestseller. I don't know about you, but I'd rather drive an affordable and reliable homely car rather than an expensive and unreliable car with style. Would you?
  • Hey, Drifter!

    The reason the Camry was such a hot seller is because the people who bought it really wanted a Lexus and couldn't afford it. Style and one's personal idenity is a definite consideration when buying a car.

    I went to the Houston Auto Show last night, saw the beetle and love it! It does rekindle the "magic" of the Bug. You can not see it and not think of Peter Paul and Mary, fun times at the beach and a hope for a better tomorrow.

    I have followed the creation of the New Beatle and have to agree with mjb56 - its got style and quality. Just color me happy that this fun car has finally arrived!
  • The New Beetle:
    It is not about style, power, or practicallity; it is about the memories which it rekindles in our minds!
    Jon
  • (McKee4) The new Beetle IS made at VW's Mexico facility. Production of the old Beetle stopped about 1.5-2 years ago to retool the factory for production of the new Beetle. I've followed the Concept 1 from the beginning. I'm very surprised it retained all of the "beetle-esque" as the first show car. For that, I applaud VW. As for the base price....I think it's a little extreme. As someone else said, it's basically a Golf with a new body. Not as expensive to engineer or produce than a car with an entirely new chassis. I was always told never to buy a first or second year model. Let them get the "bugs" out of it and then I'll think about it. It's a great looking car.
  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    I saw the Bug at the Milwaukee auto show this past week and was pretty impressed by all the features. It sure seemed to be the hit of the show. It was the only vehicle with a waiting line to get a chance to sit inside. My only problem with the entire vehicle is the small trunk space with the back seat up. It's deep enough but the width won't allow for a set of golf clubs. Otherwise it looks and feels great. Excellent front seats. Most comfortable I think I've ever sat in. Anybody else had the chance to get a hands on experience yet?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    I had my VW Golf in for service the other day and I asked my mechanic team leader what he thought about the new Bug. He was just back from a four day course on the Beetle and he said he loves it. He's never bought a new car before, but the Beetle might be the one. I told him that he just wanted the bud vase and please can they make them as aftermarket accessories for my Golf. ;-)

    Our local VW dealer is supposed to get one in this weekend and I for one will be looking for a test drive!
  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50
    Carlady,

    Which dealerships in the Washington D.C. area will have the New Beetle in this weekend? I want to check it out myself...
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    Guy P,

    The dealer Carlady was talking @ is Martens on Wisconsin Ave. We bought our last Golf there. Seems like a nice place, even if they do sell Volvos.

    Bruce.

    BTW, I saw one parked in my neighborhood the other day. I guess I live in a cooler neighborhood than I thought...
  • PeterunPeterun Posts: 83
    Hi - I saw the New Beetle at the LA autoshow during the first week of January. I was so smitten with it at first sight that I rushed over to my local dealership and plunked down $500 as a deposit. I ordered Silver with gray cloth. Arriving momentarily. I am paying MSRP, not a cent above. Dealer will install the CD player at his cost. This is pure whim, pure nostalgia for me. Takes me back to my 1970 bug. Pete in 90210
  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    MSRP seems to be a common theme among dealers I talked to. A Madison, WI dealer is having an introduction party on March 25. Zimbrick VW. My local dealer is also sticking to MSRP and I too have ordered a silver model, Diesel with black interior. As a fallback position I said I'd take a black/cream interior if it was easier to get. Looking for 1st week of April delivery. Yes, they are too cool!
  • Mo_atlMo_atl Posts: 2
    I'm most interested in hearing from anyone who has
    test driven the new VW Beetle. I don't know when
    Atlanta will get any for test driving. I'm most
    interested in knowing about head room/ leg room
    for a 6 footer. Please give me your impressions on
    driveability, cabin space, trunk space, over all
    fit and finish. Thanks!
  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    To: Mo_Atl
    At the last auto show in Milwaukee I had the opportunity to sit in the vehicle. I'm 6'2" and with the seat adjusted to maximum height I still had at least 4-5 inches of head room. Leg room was great. With the seat all the way back I could hardly get the clutch to the floor. Back seat leg space is fine, head room is for shorter adults or kids. The only concern I had was with trunk room with the back seat up. Depth is fine but I doubt if a set of golf clubs could fit due to limited width. Groceries could fit, no problem. Fit and finish were excellent. I now can't wait to drive it. I've ordered a diesel and just got a delivery date of the 3rd week in April. Seems like they're releasing them with an eye dropper. All the driving reviews I've read have been excellent. Good luck.
  • Mo_atlMo_atl Posts: 2
    mjb56
    Thanks for the info. There was a great newspaper artical in the local paper about the New Beetle. Go to Auto Reviews
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Right, drum roll please, if I'm reading my email correctly, this is the moment we've all been waiting for:

    Carlady & bnormann meet the New Beetle!

    I'll start by saying that our dealer only got one model and it is on the floor so we're not giving you the driving review yet. Bnormann will have that for you next week. In the meantime, here's what the carlady has to say:

    Good Points:

    The new Beetle MAXES OUT on the cool scale! They've done a lot to make you think you're in the old beetle. The front grill (especially if you get the fog lights - they come in the sports package with alloy wheels) brings out the nostalgia in all of us. The "strappies" are still there to help you get in and out of the back seat. The bud vase is charming!

    From VW's perspective, this baby is a people magnet. In the 45 minutes we spent at the dealers, about 2 dozen people came to view! Several, like ourselves, showed up in other VWs. We saw a very nice yellow Rabbit that looked like it was still going strong!

    Bearing in mind this is the carlady's review, I loved the under-the-hood simplicity. Everything is well marked, well organized, and looks trim. I knew just where to add more wiper fluid! Even the hood access is easier than in other VWs, a concession to the weakling market? ;-)

    It manages to have a working glove compartment & airbags (front & side) which is a feat VW couldn't manage on my '96 Golf. There are also 2 "power outlets." I imagine this is the new politically correct term for lighters. To help you with the vocabulary transition, the words are printed right on the plugs. I'm not sure why they provide two but I suppose if you are faxing and talking on the cell phone at the same time it could be very handy....

    So, what's the hatch like? Great! As a trunk alone, it's a bit tight. The upside to that is that you can pack it with groceries or suitcases and they probably won't fall over. Putting the seats down is easy. The trick is manuvering around the back seat headrests.

    Now the bad points, and folks, I surprised myself by finding so many! :-(

    In the new beetle, the driver & crew are seated more or less in the center of the vehicle. The plus on this is safety. The minus is that there is a huge dashboard looming in front of one that manages to be distracting and disorienting at the same time. It could be that because of my low vantage point :-) it is a challenge only for the stature-impaired like myself, however bnormann voiced his concerns as well.

    The fabric looks & feels like it won't hold up. It was already a bit frayed on this floor model. There is a good deal of plastic on this car which makes it light and recalls the metal interior of the original. However, this plastic scratches easily. Even this floor model, with only 25 miles of what must have been very careful driving, had a visible bumper scratch.

    The cupholders in the front are many (3) but awkwardly placed so that they can be used for a can of pop only, no room for sports cups or tall coffee mugs here. One larger cupholder is in the back but would be very difficult for the driver to use it.

    The driver's seat height is adjustable which is good. It uses a crank mechanism (like a socket wrench) though and carlady found that a bit much. It's retro but maybe a little too..??

    Now, here's a question about the car alarm (which is standard) that initially stumped the dealer. In the end, we had to organize a demo. If there are passengers remaining in the car and the driver uses his key to set the alarm while he runs a quick errand, the passengers are unable to exit the vehicle until he returns or they roll down the windows and climb out. Why is this? Setting the car alarm disables the electrical "open doors" button. In other VWs, the door locks are not flush in the locked position. In the new Beetle, they are flush. So, no "open doors" button and no way to pull up the locks on each door. Is this a big deal? Maybe not for you. It made the carlady a bit nervous...

    The good & bad news: the current shipment of Beetles have a standard transmission; the next shipment of Beetles will have an automatic transmission as an option. Nope, I'm not commenting on this one, guys! ;-)

    So, what's the bottom line?

    The bottom line is that the Beetle is one coooool car and the carlady is just not cool enough to go for it. The dealer and bnormann pronounced her a young fogie and suggested she stick with her Golf!!

    However, bnormann is a very cool guy and I don't doubt that when he drives it this week, there is a chance (slight) that he'll come home with a new car!
  • gordon1gordon1 Posts: 3
    I am interested to know the pros and cons of getting the diesel engine.

    I understand there is no-maintenance except for oil changes. The mileage doubles on the diesel as well.

    Does a diesel engine hold-up better in the long run, is it cheaper to repair or is it more expensive?
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