Some 22 million Beetles have been sold worldwide, making it the second-biggest-selling car produced by Volkswagen, after the Golf. Its successors continue adding to the success story. Here are some gems from its model history.
1949–1953: Hebmüller Cabriolet
The Hebmüller company produced a total of 696 convertibles for Volkswagen. The fully retractable top and elegantly curved, elongated rear have made the 2+2-seater famous even today.
The new Beetle presents a sportier and more distinctive look. The R-line trim level is impressive, with a new bumper and darkened tail lights. The side panelling emphasises a confident, aesthetic design language.
until 1953: Pretzel Beetle
Production of the Beetle Type 1 was launched in 1946. Its nickname was based on the divided rear window. Installation of a single curved pane would have been too complex and costly.
1953–1957: Ovali Beetle
An oval rear window replaced the “Pretzel” in 1953. In 1954, the Beetle added to its appeal with a more powerful series engine and 22 kW output. Direction indicators in the B-pillar served to signal a turn – blinking lights had not yet been invented.
1957: Rectangular-window Beetle
The Beetle was modernised with a larger rectangular rear window and a newly designed dashboard. The sunroof had been a feature since 1955.
1968: Baja California Bug
Beach cars built on a raised Beetle saloon body had their heyday in the late 1960s. They were equipped with more powerful 4- and 6-cylinder engines in place of the 1200 versions.
1972–1980: Beetle 1303 Cabriolet
Similar to the saloon, the 1303 cabriolet supplanted the 1302 model. A wheel base longer by two centimetres ensured new and more reliable handling.
1970: New Jolly
Doorless, with a canopy top and airy wicker seating – that was how the Karmann company presented its unique model. It wasn’t a cabriolet that served as the chassis base, but an encircling tube frame.
1997-2010: New Beetle
The modern revival that visually resembled the original Beetle was available in saloon and cabriolet versions. Notable characteristics included the rounded body, bulbous wings, and blinkers in the bumpers.
2000: New Beetle Dune Concept Car
The emotional visual impact of the first Dune concept car was derived from the “Baja Bugs” – the souped-up Beetles that raced each other in California during the 1960s and ’70s.
2001: New Beetle RSi
Production of this powerful “muscle” car with a 6-cylinder engine was limited to 250 vehicles. The roof spoiler and an impressive wing on the tailgate ensured safe road traction at high speeds.
2005: New Beetle Ragster
The concept car was a Speedster and Ragtop hybrid. The folding roof operated in the framework of a fixed U-shaped roof reinforcement.
2011: The Beetle
The more coupé-like lines and flatter roof clearly distinguished it from the classic rounded New Beetle. It is available in three versions: Beetle, Design and Sport.
2015: Beetle Dune Cabriolet
The panelled off-road vehicle pays homage to the legendary buggy conversions. The desert look includes 18-inch rims and a fixed rear spoiler.