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VW Wants More Masculinity In Its Beetles

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On: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 8:58AM | By: Chris Weiss

VW Wants More Masculinity In Its Beetles

Ever since its resurrection (perhaps back in its original form, too), the Volkswagen Beetle has been a bit of a (for lack of a better term) "chick car". It's the four-wheeled equivalent of those little, foofy purse dogs. Admit it. If you happen to see a guy—especially a big, burly sort of guy—behind the wheel of a Beetle at a traffic light, don't you snicker just a little?

Well, this fact hasn't been lost on VW itself, and the automaker is making a renewed effort to get more men behind the wheel of the all-new Beetle.

When designing the 2012 Beetle, Volkswagen made a concerted effort to make it more appealing to men. Some changes include the higher waistline, redesigned grille, and extra horsepower. Volkswagen expects the redesigned Beetle to appeal much more to men, shifting the car's buyership from the more than 65 percent female of the last-generation Beetle to around 50/50.

Other changes that could be appealing to men include the flatter, less bulbous roof and hood, more pronounced lines in the fender and the rear spoiler. Volkswagen moved away from the three semi-circle design that previously defined the Beetle and toward a stronger profile. From some angles, the new Beetle looks almost like an entry-level Porsche. Inside, the theme continues with male-oriented features like a 'carbon-look' dashboard and optional Fender Premium Audio System. It's definitely made a move that says 'less kitsch and more visual appeal.'

In addition to getting more bearded and muscular, VW hopes Beetle buyers will get younger. It expects the average age of the Beetle driver to slip from 58-years-old to around 36-years-old thanks largely to the redesign. In other words, buyers won't even have to have a first-hand memory of the hippie days to be attracted to the latest model.

Despite all the customer profile shifting, VW doesn't expect to reach the sales high mark of 83,434 set in 1999. VW feels that there's just too much competition from outside to meet or best that record.

So, men, would you consider planting $19,765 on the 170-hp 2.5-liter five-cylinder base model or $24,165 on the 200-hp turbo four? Or is the next Beetle still a chick-mobile?

And check out comedian and car enthusist Jay Leno test driving the newly redesigned Beetle.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



dwalter | 9:07AM (Mon, Jul 25, 2011)

I don't think the original Beetles were exclusively "chick cars", but the 1998-2010 "New Beetle" (with its dash-mounted flower vase) definitely was more dainty . I think the 2012 Beetle looks great, and if I was in the market for a new car, it'd be an option.


RoadKill | 8:10AM (Tue, Jul 26, 2011)

there are some cars that just say "Chic Car" and the new bug is one of themjust like the Cabriolet, Miata, Smart fortwo, Honda Del Sol or Kia Sportage....

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