IT could be said that with the new Volkswagen Beetle the famous German car manufacturer has gone back to its roots and its original designer Dr Ferdinand Porsche for the latest Beetle has an uncanny resemblance to the legendary Porsche 911 which succeeded the 956 that Ferdinand designed writes Bryan Longworth.
For after designing the original Beetle on the orders of Adolf Hitler before the Second World War Dr Porsche went on to design the first Porsche just after the war hence the link with the new Beetle.
In fact VW admit that the new Beetle has taken design cues from the original Beetle launched in 1938 which went on to sell over 22 million worldwide over 73 years.
The new proportions mean that the roof extends further back, the windscreen is shifted back and the rear section is more akin to that of the original Beetle which also gives it a look of the Porsche 911.
This new image is assisted with a lower profile and the new rear spoiler on the most powerful models adds to the Porsche look which several people commented on.
It is different in many ways from the model it has just replaced being larger with a bigger boot with a split fold rear seat and has three trim levels, five diesel and petrol engines with prices starting at £16,400.
The new Beetle is a much sportier car than the previous model which should give it more appeal as I discovered when testing the Beetle Design with a 1.4-litre 160bhp petrol engine on the Press launch.
This Beetle costs £19,470 and has a top speed of 129mph with zero to 62mph taking 8.3 seconds which made it possible to drive it in quite a sporty style around country roads in Berkshire where the Press launch was held.
The steering and handling and new suspension also helped to make this Beetle a more enjoyable car to drive than the previous model making it clear that VW is aiming this car at a wider level of owners than the car it has succeeded.
VW made the previous Beetle a rather quirky replacement for the original Beetle including bizarre kit such as the vase and plastic flowers on the dashboard which have disappeared on the new Beetle.
However, owners can personalise their new Beetles with 12 exterior paint colours that can also be transferred to the inside of the car and it is the first VW to be available with the option of three colour interior ambient lighting.
The latest Beetle is more dynamic than the model it has replaced and much more sporty in both appearance and the way it drives making it more appealing for owners looking for something different in this sector.
My Verdict: The Beetle that thinks it’s a Porsche!
Model: Volkswagen new Beetle Design.
Engine: 1.4-litre fiur cylinder petrol.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 129mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 8.3 seconds.
CO2 emissions: 153g/km.