With a history that dates back decades, the Volkswagen Beetle is best known for its super compact size and funky half-circle shape. Long a Volkswagen icon, the legendary Beetle began zipping down roadways in the late thirties. Designed in part by Ferdinand Porsche, the Beetle would see various incarnations throughout the next forty-plus years, but it would never delve too far away from its original form. The model pretty much the same design throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Finally, in 1998, Volkswagen updated the Beetle with a sleeker, more streamlined exterior parts, upgraded the powertrain, and even the interior layout. When the New Beetle premiered for the 1998 model year it was outfitted with a 2.0L four-cylinder base engine good for 115 horsepower. A 1.9L Turbo Direct Injection turbodiesel configuration was also offered, but was discontinued after 2006.
Three trim levels were available for the new first-generation Beetle: GL, GLS, and GLX, with each showcasing an ascending list of features and options. Beginning in 1999, the New Beetle began being equipped with a bold 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine called the 1.8T, and pumped out up to 150 horsepower. 2002 brought about the Turbo S trim level and the updated 1.8T, which now deliver up to 180 horsepower directed through a six-speed manual transmission. The Turbo S was dropped from the lineup following the 2004 model year. For 2005, a new six-speed automatic was brought in for the 2.0L and 1.8T models and new colors including "Galactic Blue" and "Tornado Red" were introduced. 2006 welcomed in a redesign, with the new Beetle receiving the following updated car parts: front/rear bumpers, new headlights, new tail lights, and an improved instrucment cluster. This is also when the 2.5L five-cylinder engine debuted.
In 2007, the TDI version of the Volkswagen Beetle was discontinued due to new emission standards. As for the updated trims, the New Beetle is available as either a coupe-hatchback or a convertible. The convertible Beetle includes a power-folding soft-top in either black or white. 16" alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, heated front-seats, cruise control, power accessories, a tilted telescoping steering wheel, and a premium audio system with CD/MP3 capability and satellite radio were included in the coupe-hatchback and convertible as standard equipment. The Beetle Red Rock Edition (coupe) shows off unique "Red Rock" paint, 17" alloy wheels, fog lights, and Red Rock paint. The Final Edition trim is painted "Aquarius Blue", 17" alloy wheels, foglights, and a limited white interior. Factory options for the coupe were limited to a power sunroof while on the convertible, the 17" alloy wheels were made available.
From the beginning, the Volkswagen Beetle made an impression. How could it not? By itself, the Beetle revolutionized the way the world viewed compact cars. And even now, with the advent of SMART and MINI, the Beetle is still a mainstay, making its presence known from coast to coast. Everything about is classic. And when Volkswagen updated the model to the New Beetle, a ground swell emerged and further enhanced what had already been a pretty remarkable legacy. Beetle drivers, you're not ignored. The right accents and accessories prove that your ride has a personality all of its own.
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