September 09, 2012

FIRST IMPRESSION: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle - The Icon Is Back !

 The all-new Volkswagen Beetle has been officially launched in Malaysia at the Volkswagen Das Auto KL 2012 event. The Beetle is no doubt still an icon, following the footsteps of its predecessor as well as the recognisable iconic design which can be identified from far.

 This time around the The Beetle has grown exteriorly. Measuring at 4278 mm long, 1,808 mm wide, 1486 mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2537mm, The Beetle is 152mm longer, 84mm wider, 12mm lower and gained 22mm of wheelbase than before. The design of The Beetle is more appealing to men too, it's no longer the dress that only women will wear and show off among their friends. The more pronouncing wheel arches and flatter roofline conveys a feeling of stability, giving us the impression that it handles well.

What else? Daytime running LED lights (available for the 2.0 TSI only unfortunately, which will be introduced later) gives a sense of sophisticated and shows that The Beetle can still be competitive in the modern era if it had to. Alright, it sounded like I'm writing a press release, but I would like to clarify that I'm not. The Beetle is just amazing to be looked at, especially with the black side mirror housing, rear spoiler and 5-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels designed only for the 2.0 TSI Beetle (in yellow) below.
 The Bug's Life eye...

The body-coloured dashboard is inspired by the original Beetle, which I must say it looks awesome in red! It brighten up the rather sombre cabin, but not sure it will glare under the hot sun or otherwise. The dashboard is cladded with hard plastic instead soft-touch material, but thankfully there is pattern on it to give it a quality outlook. Space is generous for the front occupants (and the seats are comfortable too), but the rear seats are best for smaller-sized occupants or children.

The larger exterior dimension means there's more room for the cargo too at 310 litres, it should be able to swallow weekend shopping spree with ease.

The Beetle is selling at RM139,888 for the 1.2 TSI, it's capable of churning out 105PS at 6000rpm and 175Nm from as low as 1550rpm to 4100rpm, mated with a 7-speed DSG gearbox. The upcoming 2.0TSI Beetle produces 200PS at 5100rpm and 280Nm from 1700-5000rpm, mated with a 6-speed DSG gearbox. One word of advice, don't mess with the 2.0 Beetle!

For the 1.2 TSI, it has 'Climatronic' air conditioning with 2-zone temperature control, cruise control, 'Vienna' leather seats upholstery and 'RCD 510' touchscreen with 8 speakers, to name a few as standard. 2.0 TSI will have electric paranomic tilt/slide sunroof, sport suspension (wish to test drive to check out the difference!) and automated headlight range adjustment. Safety wise, The Beetle has dual front airbags, combined side and thorax airbag for the front passengers, ABS, BA, ESP and Hill-hold control. 2.0 TSI will get an additional electronic differential lock XDS.

Well, like Volkswagen said, the icon is back. I don't mind having the 1.2 TSI Beetle eventhough it's not as stylish as the 2.0 TSI, as the 1.2 TSI is still a remarkable icon!

P.S. To read the article on the event itself, click here!

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