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Leno Drives Something Old And Something New [Video]

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On: Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 4:02PM | By: Chris Salamone

Leno Drives Something Old And Something New [Video]

One of the perks of being an insanely popular TV personality is the pecuniary success to build and run your own garage, packed with automotive gems past and present. One of the perks of having a personal car collection, while maintaining celebrity status, is that major auto brands like VW are more than happy to oblige your urge to test drive their latest toys. Jay Leno proves that point in his latest article, showcasing a test drive of the oldest surviving VW Beetle followed by an upcoming 2012 model. Watching the video, it’s easy to see how much Leno respects and cherishes classic cars. However, his enthusiasm for the latest Beetle appears equally colorful—and with good reason. Leno pushed his test vehicle in excess of 130 mph.

Regarding the oldest driving example of a Beetle, here’s what Leno had to say, “Everyone knows the outside. But I love the inside, too. Art Deco dials. Cloth seats and headlining that would fit into a modern home now. And a tactile, thin-rimmed steering wheel that transmits every sense of its handling direct to your brain. Not that it’s great at handling—remember, it’s a 1938.”

As much as he might prefer the classic design of the original Beetle, Jay Leno is no sucker for practicality. He notes the new car’s peppiness, increased fuel economy, safety, and efficiency. “The thing that astounds me about this new Beetle is its sophistication and power.” Once the 2012 Beetle is switched into S, or Sport mode, then the suspension stiffens and shifting becomes more aggressive. Obviously, the 1938 Beetle might have trouble competing with a 6500-rpm redline.

Leno’s interest in the latest Beetle’s power concludes with an astute observation. “I can brag to my friends I did 130 in a Beetle. It’s good doing that in Germany. In the U.S., I’d be writing this from a jail cell.”

VW is quick to point out that Jay Leno loves this latest Beetle. And, with good reason; a celebrity endorsement in this case only serves to bolster the new Beetle’s hype. Jay Leno is equally respected as a primetime funny-man, and as a true-blue car enthusiast. His restoration exploits are vast and his collection is enviable from any perspective. This latest Beetle shocked the world with a more modern design and Leno’s video demonstrates that changing times really mean opportunity for improvement. 70-plus years of fine tuning make one heck of a new addition to the Beetle family.

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dwalter | 3:55PM (Fri, Jul 15, 2011)

I used to have a 60s Bug - such a fun little car! The new changes are subtle but enough to break away from the "girl's car" stigma.

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