What: Volkswagen’s 2012 Beetle, the third generation version of the VW compact.
Engine: 2.5-liter, 170-horsepower engine can be upgraded to a sportier, 200-horsepower, turbocharged gas engine.
Mileage: Projected to top the current Beetle, which gets 29 mpg. The diesel version will get 40 mpg.
Features: With a more edgy design than the previous Beetle introduced in 1998, the new Beetle features a flatter roof, a less bulbous shape, narrowed windows and a sharp increase along the side. Gone is the built-in flower vase on the baseboard. The 2012 Beetle includes a navigation system, larger trunk, more luxurious materials and ambient lighting.
History: The original model was developed in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and came to the U.S. . after World War II. Beetle sales peaked in 1962 at 200,000 and VW stopped selling the Beetle in the U.S. in 1979. In 1998, the company introduced the New Beetle, and the third incarnation of the Beetle will be released this fall.
Outlook: Volkswagen, which wants to triple its U.S. sales of cars and trucks over the next decade, says the new Beetle will appeal more to more buyers, especially men, than did the previous Beetle.
Source: Associated Press, Volkswagen