NEW YORK – In its 73-year history, the Beetle has evolved from a no-frills worker’s car to the hippie ride of choice to a cute chick car. Now Volkswagen is reinventing it again.
The company introduced an edgy design Monday for its signature model, giving it a flatter roof, a less bulbous shape, narrowed windows and a sharp crease along the side. Gone is the built-in flower vase on the dashboard.
It’s the first overhaul since 1998, when Volkswagen came up with the New Beetle.
The design is based not on the New Beetle but on the original Beetle, which was created in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, came to the U.S. after World War II and became a counterculture favorite because of its low cost and unusual look.
In addition to an upgraded, 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter gas engine, VW will offer a sportier, 200-horsepower, turbocharged gas engine – Volkswagen hopes it will appeal to guys – and a fuel-efficient diesel.