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by Tim Beissmann

US talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey has given away 275 brand new 2011 Volkswagen Beetles to her audience, around one year before the vehicles are set to hit the road.

Volkswagen is yet to officially unveil the updated Beetle model, although a silhouette of the vehicle on the set of the show confirmed that earlier spy photos of the original retro were on the money.

If it’s possible, the new 2011 Beetle will look even more like the original people’s car than the current model – introduced in 1998.

The A-pillar meets with the roof at a more pronounced angle and the rear wheel arches are more rounded and prominent.

The silhouette also appears to reveal a ducktail spoiler in another nod to past designs.

Volkswagen of America President and CEO, Jonathan Browning, confirmed Oprah had seen the new model, but the lucky new owners would have to wait for the official unveiling like the rest of the world.

It is expected the 2011 Beetle will bypass next January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit for a second quarter debut. The audience members will get their hands on the keys in the third or fourth quarter next year, after production commences at the Puebla, Mexico plant.

Mr Browning confirmed the 2011 Beetle would feature a touchscreen, Bluetooth and a branded audio system.

In an attempt to sport up the curvy, effeminate model, VW will also offer the Beetle performance options including dual exhausts, 19in alloys, stiffer suspension and sports seats.




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