Sunday, March 18, 2012

First Impression: Volkswagen Beetle Turbo

The original Volkswagen Beetle went into production in 1938. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche helped design the Beetle. The original Beetle was a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door subcompact car that was available as a coupe or as a convertible. Over 21.5 million first generation Beetles were built from 1938 to 2001. The second generation Beetle was built from 1997 to 2010. It was a front-engine, front-wheel drive, two-door hatchback that was also available as a convertible. In 2011, the third generation Beetle went into production to be released for the 2012 model year. The third generation Beetle is a front-engine, front-wheel drive, two-door, 2+2 hatchback that is also available as a convertible. Like the previous Beetles, the third generation Beetle is available with a turbo.

I saw the third generation Volkswagen Beetle Turbo at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. Compared to the previous generation, the third generation Beetle has a more aggressive styling. That is not saying much as I have seen way more females drive the second generation Beetle than male. I feel that the newer Beetles should have kept the original Beetle design. The Porsche 911 have always had the engine located in the rear. Compared to other subcompacts, the Beetle is nothing special. The Ford Fiesta and Mini Cooper have better styling than the Beetle I never really was a fan of the original Beetle. One thing I do not like is the Turbo decal running down the sides of the Beetle. I am not a fan of flashy decals. It ruins the Porsche 911 GT3RS. To me, it attracts attention from the police.

The Volkswagen Beetle Turbo is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L I4 engine, paired with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, that produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The Beetle Turbo goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds a reaches a top speed of 124 mph. Prices for the Beetle Turbo start at $29,865. The Beetle Turbo is very quick compared to other subcompacts. But, there are much better cars that cost less than $30,000.

The third generation Beetle has been featured on Jay Leno's Garage, Auto Esporte, The Car Show, and Vrum.

Final Thoughts: I was not a big fan of the first generation Beetle. I named it the fourth worst car used in the Transformers franchise. The second generation Beetle was mostly driven by females. The third generation Beetle has a more aggressive styling than the other previous Beetles, but there are other subcompacts with better styling  (Ford Fiesta and Mini Cooper S) than the Beetle. The Beetle Turbo has great acceleration for a subcompact car, but it is a bit pricey at around $30,000. There are some better cars than the Beetle for under $30,000 like the Subaru Impreza WRX, Buick Regal CXL Turbo, and Mini Cooper S.

Photo taken from a digital camera.
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