Is any car as iconic as the original Beetle? – A question that can be debated indefinitely without ever reaching a resolution.
Of course there are candidates: the Citroen 2CV, all manner of Ferraris, the Mini… but few had films based around them, a honour the Beetle can proudly or embarrassingly claim (depends on your opinion of the Herbie series).
That said, how do you follow the Beetle? Simple: You make another one!
As you would expect, the new Beetle initially began life in 1994 as a concept, inspired by its illustrious predecessor. So positive was the public response VW decided to press ahead with a production model that first graced showrooms four years later.
Despite sharing its appearance with the original Beetle, the new edition had more in common with the Mk IV Golf – opting for style over interior space. It was ludicrously popular, forming the lead prong of the late 90s retro-wave trident, alongside the MINI One and Chrysler PT Cruiser. Public opinion intensified further when the convertible came out a short time later.
There were a variety of different engines available, the better being the 2.3-litre in the V5 and 3.2-litre V6 RSI. Like the original Beetle, the new version even got its own film – Herbie: Fully Loaded which came out in 2005. Production was brought to an end in 2011 when it was replaced by the Beetle A5 – helpfully also known as the New Beetle.
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