VW Beetle Cabriolet (2012) revealed

Published: 10 May 2011

Volkswagen will chop the top off the new Beetle in early 2012. Our new artist's impressions reveal the new Beetle Cabriolet, which is due to stick with its soft-top fabric roof stashed unfashionably high on the rump.

Why no folding metal roof? It's considered just too big and bulky for a car of this size - and don't forget the new, New Beetle's practicality is already likely to be compromised compared with a Golf.

So what's new on the 2012 VW Beetle Cabriolet?

The outgoing Beetle was first shown in 1998, so there's plenty of catching up to be done. The platform architecture borrows more up to date modules from the cavernous VW parts bin, and the convertible apes the coupe's 152mm longer and 84mm wider stance.

This growth spurt should help stretch out the previously cramped accommodation mentioned above. The coupe is 12mm lower than the old Beetle, however, and it's unclear if the Beetle Cabriolet's boot will shrink from the hatchback's 310 litres.

Powering the new Bug soft-top

The engines in the new 2012 VW Beetle Cabrio include:

• 1.2 TSI 104bhp
• 1.4 TSI 158bhp
• 2.0 TSI 197bhp
• 1.6 TDI Bluemotion 104bhp

The Beetle diesel hatchback manages a quoted 66mpg and 112g/km of CO2, thanks to stop-start and clever alternator control.

Volkswagen Beetle convertible: will it be any good?

The new Bug soft-top takes much of its inspiration from the 2005 VW Beetle Ragster, a lower, squatter, more macho take on the Beetle aesthetic. There's not a flower vase in sight on the 2011 newcomer.

And VW is making big noises that the soft-top will be better than before, thanks to a vastly superior torsional rigidity. For number crunchers, that's measured at 26,000Nm/˚. So now you know. In plain English, that should guarantee a stiffer cabrio with less scuttle shake and general wobbling.

There's a bit of a wait on for the new Beetle cabrio. It won't be seen until early 2012, around the same time as the hatch goes on sale. The convertible has proved quite popular in the UK, accounting for half of all Beetles sold in 2010 and 2009.

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