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Volkswagen New Beetle (1998 - 2011)

Last updated 24 February 2021


Model Timeline

February 1998
Volkswagen launches new Beetle

Golf Mk IV-based and an instant cult car in the USA and Europe. Standard engine is updated eight-valve 2.0 litre from Golf III, which is pleasantly torquey and suits town work. TDI 90 engine available and 100 bhp 1.6 petrol. Four-Star performance in NCAP crash safety tests.

As with Golf Mk IV, gained serious roadholding and handling improvements for 2002 model year. Also a 150bhp 1.8T and a 170bhp V5, which is a hoot to drive.

100bhp TDI PD diesel from early 2001 with a/c for £14,175. Low 143g/km CO2 output. Prices cut March 2002 to Beetle 1.6 102bhp: £11,750 OTR; Beetle 2.0 115bhp: £13,495 OTR.

March 2002
Convertible Beetle launched

Has automatic protection in the event of a rollover and Volkswagen says that the car has high torsional rigidity, all but eliminating the scuttle shake that afflicts so many soft-tops. Proper, snug, three layer hood with glass rear window. A new type of hydraulic operation ensures it can be raised or lowered in just 13 seconds. Engines are the familiar 75bhp 1.4 16v, a 102bhp 1.6 16v or a 115bhp 2.0 8v. A 100bhp TDI PD 100 came later.

January 2006

Facelifted for 2006 with revised range of engines starting with 1.4 Luna at £11,245 for the tin top and £13,995 for the cabrio.

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