Thursday, May 31, 2012

Car Of The Day: May 31, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from Firehawk73's collection and is Revell's 1999 Volkswagen New Beetle.

The Volkswagen New Beetle is a compact car, introduced by Volkswagen in 1998, drawing heavy inspiration from the exterior design of the original Beetle. Unlike the original Beetle, the New Beetle has its engine in the front driving the front wheels, with luggage storage in the rear. Many special editions have been released, such as the Malibu Barbie New Beetle. In May 2010, Volkswagen announced that production of the current body of the New Beetle will cease in 2011.

In 2012, a new model replaced the New Beetle, called simply the Volkswagen Beetle.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Volkswagen New Beetle

Strong public reaction to the Concept 1 convinced the company that it should develop a production version which was launched as the New Beetle in 1998, based on the Golf IV's larger PQ34 platform. The New Beetle is related to the original only in name and appearance (including the absence of a car emblem script with the exception of the VW logo). In June 1999, the first turbocharged version of the Beetle was launched, known as the 1.8T, and Volkswagen created a web site dedicated specifically to that vehicle. A convertible was added in mid year 2003 to replace the Volkswagen Cabrio.

The New Beetle carries many design similarities with the original VW Beetle: separate wings, vestigial running boards, sloping headlamps and large round tail lights, as well as a high rounded roofline. It is assembled currently in VW Puebla factory in Mexico.

The Volkswagen New Beetle was the car that started the retro-futurist design craze. It was a modernized version of the legendary VW Beetle and struck a chord with consumers who had grown tired of standard conservative car designs and had fond memories of the "Bugs" from popular culture.

However, this modern version, being much more complicated than the simple design of the original "people's car" envisioned by Porsche, was prone to several mechanical and electronic defects. The automatic transmission, for example, is a well-documented issue, often failing after only a relatively short period of use (see:hard-shifting issue on VW Bug) and requiring expensive repair. Other issues associated with the retro design are poor access to even simple maintenance areas, making changing a front bulb for example, an expensive service operation. The convertible was also prone to failing window mechanism, which requires the window to "shuffle" when opening and closing the door in order for the window to seal with the roof due to the pillarless door design.

The power roof mechanism also suffered from a very complex mechanism of pulleys and plastic flaps in order to simply cover and uncover the folding structure. This was "rectified" by VW in the 2006 model onwards by removing one plastic cover panel from the mechanism, reducing failure likelihood, but at the expense of esthetics. The New Beetle also had an overly sensitive and complex Computer control system, often requiring a full system reset at the VW Dealer whenever the battery was disconnected or discharged to enable it to be driven properly.

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