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by Tim Beissmann

Production of the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle has officially started in Mexico, although Australian customers will have to wait more than a year to jump behind the wheel.

The new Volkswagen Beetle is scheduled to go on sale in Australia in the second half of 2012.

The delay means Volkswagen Australia will be without a Beetle in its local line-up for the best part of the next 12 months – and potentially longer – as stock of the outgoing Volkswagen New Beetle runs out.

Sales of the New Beetle, which was produced in Mexico between 1997 and 2010, have petered out in Australia over the past few years. So far this year, just 91 hatches and 28 cabrio models have been delivered.

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is an all-new vehicle with a range of tried and tested powertrains from the German giant’s existing vehicle range.

Powering the new model will be five engines, including two TSI petrol units (77TSI and 118TSI), two TDI diesels (77TDI and 103TDI), and a 2.5-litre petrol engine, which is destined for the US only.

The familiar range of six-speed manual and six- and seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmissions will send power to the front wheels.

At 4278mm long, 1808mm wide, 1486mm tall and with a 2537mm wheelbase, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is 152mm longer, 84mm wider and 12 mm lower than the outgoing model and has a longer wheelbase by 22mm.

The Puebla plant produced 1.15 million New Beetle vehicles over 13 years. The 2012 model will be built alongside the new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta sedan, with deliveries of the Beetle set to commence in Germany in the coming months.

Are you disappointed the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is still so far away? Let us know in the comments section below.




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