04 June 2011

21st Century Beetle

Volkswagen gives another shot on the re-inventing the iconic Beetle. Enter the new bug...

21st Century Beetle

WHEN Volkswagen unveiled the New Beetle in 1998. It wasn’t a people’s car that the original was. It was more-or-less a fashion accessory. It looks like the original without question. To me, it just doesn’t capture the spirit of the old people’s car. I mean the engine is in the wrong the place for starters. It’s in the front. Speaking of the engine, it isn't water cooled either.

That's not the only gripe I have with the New Beetle. For anyone who owned an original Beetle, it's probably a car that won't evoke any nostalgia. I think the New Beetle is (dare I say) too feminine to be anything like the original in my humble opinion.

This is where VW's reinvention of the old classic is a bit of a flop. The New Beetle isn't classless. It's not a car that has a broad appeal as the original did from bin men to billionaires. The New Beetle was catered more towards female drivers. Having a  flower vase in the dashboard says it all. As I said it visually resembles the original (which it does) but the New Beetle looks like it has chubby cheeks and a lardy bum. It's all "cute", "cuddly" and brimming with character.

Mi New Beetle

The Volkswagen New Beetle was hot property only for ten minutes as the bug’s novelty quickly wore thin. It was a car that went out of fashion overnight as people quickly lost interest in the Beetle. Though I suppose the superior new MINI and the Fiat 500 didn't do much to boost the Beetle's appeal. Even if they are re-invented retro classics as four-wheeled fashion accessories. Which both comfortably outsell the Bug.

Adding insult to injury is that the New Beetle is hardly a spring chicken. I mean it's based on a Golf from two generations ago and VW have pretty much neglected the Bug in its lifespan. Though, they have been quietly updated visually and mechanically.

With the MINI and the Fiat 500 being hugely successful. With the sky-high demand for both of these cars. VW are well aware that the 21st Century Beetle has the potential to be a prodigal success. They're more than likely to take a leaf out of BMW and Fiat's books. Where you can custom and personalise your Bug for example.

I believe Volkswagen can make a success with the 21st Century Beetle. I'm sure they will make the 21st Century Beetle a fun and sophisticated piece of kit. They're more than capable of doing that. How will it fare with the likes of the MINI, Fiat 500, Citroen DS3 and Alfa Romeo MiTO? Well that remains to be seen...

VW Beetle

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say and leave a reply...