DESPITE making its debut in Singapore earlier this year, this is the last model of the Volkswagen Beetle on offer.
With a facelift due, VW was keen to offer the market something which would also navigate Singapore’s tricky car market governed by bureaucratic pitfalls.
The Beetle has always been a popular car. Less for its performance and more for its cheeky sense of joie de vivre. It’s a state of mind purchase, a throwback to an era when the roads were open, vistas less cluttered and there were no smart devices to ru(i)n our lives.
With the cabriolet, that sense of fun is amplified as a silent and quick-acting soft top tucks away neatly. It straddles history and the present day realities with connected systems that let you feed some of the information from your mobile phone into the car. I guess, even with the top down, and if your hair (if you have any) is being teased in the wind, you’ll still want to know what’s going on in your real world.
In many regards, the Beetle is a fuss-free bug. Its charming looks have won many a driver over. When it was first reintroduced it looked the part, but lacked an engaging drive.
With the new 1.2 litre turbocharged engine, the Beetle is more spirited. It has enough on tap to get you moving, and regardless the position of the top, the ride is steady. The well-measured power gives you enough juice to cover your needs on the move.
The interior is relatively basic, but it can’t be faulted. Many design cues hark back to the original Beetle, though they have been updated for easier manufacturing and relevance to today’s market demands.
The Beetle is a mix of practicality and comfort. The accommodating seats are manually adjusted, and while there’s enough shoulder room in the front, it’s tighter at the back.
The Fender sound system delivers the goods whether the top is up or down, although it lacks presence. A sporty instrument cluster delivers some useful data, though, on the move, the central dial gives you more than enough information.
The mod cons installed will keep drivers suitably informed. Rear assist camera will tell you what you might be bumping into and electronic stabilisation (ESP) will always endeavour to keep the Beetle from winding up on its back.
Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights — all the rage — keeps the connection with the old Beetle with its round shape.
Let’s see what shows up in the headlights for the next version of the Beetle
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Engine: 4-cylinder turbocharged
Max Power: 78kW@5,000rpm
Max Torque: 175Nm@1,500–4,100rpm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG
0-100kmh: 11.7 seconds
Top Speed: 178kmh
Retail price: *$119,900
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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