The all-new Beetle: Design a new original
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - April 23, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The most recognizable automotive design in the world. Coke bottle, iPhone, Ray Ban Aviator, Beetle – how does one reinvent a design that is so recognizable and independent? There is a clear answer to this: It is necessary to understand the product and the brand; then it works! Volkswagen Design Chief Walter de Silva (Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand) “understand” both and therefore set this as the objective for the Beetle: “Design a new original!”

Challenge as a thrill. The team began its task under Bischoff’s guidance. The challenge of designing a new Beetle was inspiring. The designers knew that they wanted to develop from the original Beetle profile more than on the 1998 New Beetle. They also made very dynamic proportions a high priority. An interesting aspect was that more than a few team members actually own their own air-cooled Beetles. It has also become a cult car among younger designers at Volkswagen. And that is how the final design of the new Beetle came to be in Wolfsburg – a car of today as well as a design tribute to the automotive seed of an entire corporate group. And unmistakable indeed: If one were to take the first Beetle and the new Beetle and place them in a room together – shining light just over the roofs and viewing them from the side – one would see that the lines of the rear sections are nearly identical.

No standing still: “We remade every part.”

Bolder, more dynamic, more masculine. A comparison to the 1998 New Beetle shows this: nothing remained as it was on the old car: “The Beetle is now characterized by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness. The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front bonnet is longer, the front windscreen is shifted further back and has a much steeper incline. All of this creates a new dynamism,” explains Klaus Bischoff. While the New Beetle was defined by three semi-circles (front wing, rear wing, domed roof above it), the new model has broken free of this geometry. The roof profile actually runs distinctly lower and can be considered a continuation of the Ragster concept car shown in Detroit in 2005 – a type of hot rod based on the New Beetle. The new Beetle is bolder, more dynamic, and more masculine.

The figures confirm this: The new car is 1,808 mm wide (84 mm wider), 1,486 mm tall (12 mm lower) and 4,278 mm long (152 mm longer). This has resulted in entirely new proportions. The gain in length meant that the roof could be extended further, the front windscreen could be shifted back, and the rear section could follow the contour of the original Beetle. The new focal point is the C-pillar. In parallel, the development team increased the car’s track widths and wheelbase. All of this gives the Beetle a powerful appearance with muscular tension.

The Volkswagen BGC showroom is located at 28th Street City Center, Bonifacio Global City. Showroom hours are from Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For more information on Volkswagen or to request for a test drive, visit www.volkswagen.com.ph or email customercare@volkswagen.com.ph.

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