"My team has achieved a noteworthy coup with the Beetle: its interior design is as unique as it is unmistakable, and very much a Beetle design, just like the car's exterior styling," is how Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand, sums up what most observers will find when they look inside the new Beetle. An interior space has been created that is marked by a love for details, that is perceived as a genuine tribute to the Beetle, and that melds high-tech and classic elements into a new interior world. Above all, however, it is an interior that fits perfectly and is unlike anything else currently being offered in the automotive world.
Forms – an interior that is the sum of its parts
Its many details make the interior refreshingly unique. There is the rather swept-back front windscreen that harks back to the world of classic cars. There it is – and the name fits – the instrument panel that combines innovative technologies and controls with painted surfaces and a glovebox in the style of the original air-cooled Beetle. The car offers a lot of space and comfort for 4 people and up to 905 litres of cargo capacity. The seats themselves are as well suited for a loop around the Nordschleife race course they are for a 4,500 kilometre trip on Route 66. And there are forms that are never just created for their looks, but always serve a purpose. Take for example the form and colour of the dashboard, which visually connect to the time of the first Beetle, and yet are not retro. On the base model ("Beetle"), this facia is in "Monochrome Black"; in the "Design" equipment line, it is always body-coloured. Those customers ordering the "Sport" get a carbon look ("Carbon Fiber"). The specific version of the dashboard is colour co-ordinated with the door trim panels and accents of the new 3-spoke steering wheels designed specifically for the Beetle. The "Beetle" version has black textured door trim panels and a steering wheel cover in "Titan Black". The Beetle with "Design" equipment is delivered with surfaces painted in the exterior colour in these areas. The "Sport", on the other hand, has black painted door trim panels and steering wheel accents in "Dark Metal" paint.
Colour schemes – as you like it
Three colour ambiance lighting
In the Beetle, to the left of the steering wheel, there is not only a small wheel for brightness control of the instrument backlighting, but also (as an option) a second one with the scaling "0", "r", "w" and "b". This wheel is used to control the colours of this innovative ambiance lighting system from Volkswagen. Red, white and blue. The indirect lighting itself is located in the door trim panels, while direct lighting is implemented as a light ring around the door-mounted loudspeakers. Ambiance lighting is offered as a pack in combination with the also optional Fender sound system (see section Customisation).
Single colour ambiance lighting
A version without the light ring around the loudspeakers is offered as a standard feature on the "Sport" equipment version. Both the "small" and "large" versions of ambiance lighting have brightness control together with adjustment of the instrument backlighting.
User controls – the Beetle was and still is intuitively driveable
Regardless of the lighting, drivers will be able to find any of the interior details – with their eyes closed. This means not only current Volkswagen owners but any drivers. And yet everything has been redesigned or rearranged. In front of the driver, 3 round instruments (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge) supply all of the key information in the central speedometer (in the middle) there is a multifunction display. From the "Design" equipment line, the adjustable air vents and instruments have chrome bezels. This also applies to the audio/navigation systems that are optimally located in the driver's visual field on the dashboard, framed by 2 air vents. Beneath this are the climate control panel, also redesigned, a central switch bar for the hazard lights and finally the gear shift grip with the start button for the engine (optional) located to the left of it.
Similar to the Beetle of the air-cooled era, the new car has an extra glovebox integrated in the front facia whose lid folds upward (the standard glovebox that is also integrated opens downward). Another classic feature: the optional auxiliary instruments above the selected audio/navigation system: oil temperature, clock with chronometer function and boost pressure gauge. The oil temperature gauge shows when the engine is ready to go to the race track where the chronometer can be put to good use. And the boost pressure gauge? It optimises either driving fun or fuel-efficiency – depending on the driver's inclination and mood.
Ergonomics and quality – a Volkswagen.
A distinguishing feature of The Beetle – the third generation if you will – is that its interior ergonomics and packaging are based on completely new parameters. While drivers in the air-cooled Beetle travelled in a very low-slung seat, and drivers of the New Beetle felt as if they were chauffeured because the bonnet was so far forward, the latest Beetle now offers a very sporty driving experience. Every feature is within easy reach: the one hand automatically grips the steering wheel above the cross-spoke and easily finds the light switch that is slightly offset from it. As in a sports car, the gear shift lever is always intuitively in the optimal position for the other hand. Compared to the New Beetle, the space around the gear shift grip was enlarged; this simplifies shifting work in sporty driving and during quick gear shifts.
In the roof area are the controls for the panoramic tilt/slide sunroof. The round turning knob is used to adjust the opening of the transparent roof in various stages. When the control is pressed, the roof tilts upward (for details on the panoramic tilt/slide sunroof, see section Customisation).
Volkswagen has once again succeeded in implementing a quality of materials that goes beyond all class limits. The first car in the world to accomplish this was the Golf, generation IV. Today, this also applies to the Polo and even more so to the Beetle. The car's styling, ergonomics, operability and quality interact to create a new, friendly car with a highly individual nature.
Space and comfort – no tight spots
In front, the four-seat Beetle is now somewhat lower in profile, since the domed roof of its predecessor has been eliminated. It now offers 1044 mm interior height (with panoramic tilt/slide sunroof: 1049 mm) instead of the previous 1,082 mm. However, the difference will hardly be missed, even by very tall drivers, since the New Beetle's interior was a "cathedral" among compact cars. Meanwhile, in the rear seating area, the longer roof section even results in a distinctly better feeling of space than in the New Beetle. Available here – with or without the panoramic roof – are 942 mm; that is about 10 mm more than on the previous model. Legroom has also increased in the rear; it is now 831 mm. The Beetle also shows noticeable growth in interior width (front: 1,459 mm / rear: 1,308 mm).
The Beetle has a completely redesigned seating system, which make a substantial contribution towards the car's high level of comfort and unlimited touring ability. Besides standard seats, "sport seats" are used in the "Sport" model (for details on the seating systems, see section on Customisation).
The boot now has a significantly larger capacity at 310 litres instead of 209 litres. When the standard split rear bench is folded down, cargo capacity even increases to 905 litres; and it is easy to load through the wide opening boot lid. Since the Beetle uses a platform that is technically closely related to the Golf VI (shortened by 50 mm), the track widths and pass-through width also increased in the boot. Here it is now possible to use a pass-through width of 960 mm. The boot length is 737 mm when the rear bench seatback is up; when it is folded down the length is 1,493 mm. This means that nothing aboard the Beetle keeps it from handling a long road trip. Incidentally, practical bag hooks in the walls of the boot help in both small and large everyday cargo transport tasks.
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Features and technical data apply to models offered in Germany. They may differ in other countries.
All fuel economy and emissions data cited in this press release are forecast values as of June 2011.