The first notable change from the new model compared to the existing model is the name. Volkswagen has dropped the 'New' out of the existing model's New Beetle name and is simply calling this one the Volkswagen Beetle.
The other main difference is the sharper, lower profile bodywork. The roofline appears to be lower while the higher waistline gives the car a more retro hot rod stance. At the same time, you can see evidence of Volkswagen's current design language in the front bumper, with the lower hexagonal shape and the sheered-off front and rear wheel arches.
The car is actually 12mm lower overall than the predecessor, topping out at 1486mm. The rest of the car has grown, however, by 152mm in length (now 4278mm), 88mm in width (now 1808mm), as well as the wheelbase which is now 2537mm, stretched from 2515mm. Boot size has also grown from 209 litres to a much more accommodating 310 litres.
New front-engined, front-wheel drive packages have been altered as well, with the 2.0-litre turbocharged 155TSI making its way into the range-topping model. A 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine (the 103TDI) will also make its way into the line-up for the US market, offering 103kW of power and 320Nm of torque.
As for our local market, the new Volkswagen Beetle will be offered with a range of turbocharged petrol engines only. Starting out with the 1.2-litre 77TSI engine with 77kW and 175Nm, to the 1.4-litre 118TSI unit with 118kW and 240Nm, up to the top-spec model fitted with the 155TSI 2.0-litre turbocharged unit with 155kW and 280Nm.
All engine packages will be offered with either a six-speed manual transmission or the option of a dual-clutch DSG automatic.
The new Volkswagen Beetle will hit the US and Europeans markets towards the end of this year year while Australian sales are set to commence during the beginning of 2012.