Volkswagen's developing a newer New Beetle for the 2012 model year and we recently got a sneak peak at the car's profile thanks to Oprah. However, we've just discovered a spy video of the 2012 New Beetle testing in Europe that reveals the full car.
As with the majority of New Beetle test vehicles caught on film, this particular car is wearing what appears to be a stretched version of the current-generation Beetle's body. The front and rear are identical to the current car, but the roofline looks similar to Volksagen's Ragster Concept it showed at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show -- giving the typically feminine New Beetle a more masculine look as Volkswagen has said it would do.
Unlike the Ragster Concept, which was just a Beetle with a chopped roof, the 2012 New Beetle sports the flatter roofline because its wheelbase has been stretched. According to inside reports, the next-generation Beetle's wheelbase is set to grow around 3.5 inches. In accordance with VW's plan to make the next Beetle sportier, the car's track has been widened, too.
Although VW intends to make the next-generation Beetle sportier, the engine lineup will mirror that of today's car. This means U.S. buyers will have their choice of a 2.5-liter I-5 (170 horsepower), a 2.0-liter, turbo I-4 (200 horsepower), or a 2.0-liter, turbo-diesel I-4. Transmissions will be updated to include VW's latest, with dual-clutch transmissions up to seven speeds and a six-speed manual.
This is as much information as we were able to sneak out of Volkswagen for the time being, but we're sure to learn more in the coming months as the 2012 New Beetle is set to go on sales in the fall 2011. A convertible version will hit the market sometime after that, but no earlier than the spring of 2012.