New Beetle Kicks Hippies (and Girly Girls) to the Curb

Sasha Brown-Worsham

The new Volkswagen Beetle is proving that the third time may be the charm. For only the third time in its 70+ year history, the little hippie mobile more famous for "flower power" than engine power is getting a revamp, and the new reveal may just pull in new buyers. Alas, its old buyers may be weeping.

Let's just say: This ain't your mama's VW bug.

The Beetle was always about harnessing the power of youth and this new model captures a more modern spirit. The first model came out in 1938 and the first redesign was in 1998, when Volkswagen came up with the New Beetle. Inside, it had a bud vase that could be stocked with fresh flowers and the same rounded appearance that made the first one seem impractical and cutesy in the first place.

It was a unique car whose appeal may have been limited (and female), but they were definitely loyal. There was nothing else on the market like it! The new one changes all that. See for yourself:

The new one is having none of that. With its flatter roof, less bulbous shape, narrowed windows, and spoiler behind, the newest Beetle seems to want to reach the generation raised on IM and The OC.

By dropping the "cute" image (along with its little flower vase attached to the dash), the car has a more broad appeal to men and women alike. It may not go faster, but it has the appearance of doing so, and in a market that is looking for smaller cars, it's a good time for a redesign.

They have ambitious goals. Volkswagen wants to TRIPLE its US sales in the next decade, but by alienating all their little hippie fans, are they doing the car a disservice?

I never had a bug and I probably never would have bought one. They were about as girly a car as one could get without driving a pink Barbie Cadillac. But they were still their own, unique car. Now they look like they're trying to be a cross between a Mini Cooper and PT Cruiser.

It may work and if it does, more power to them. But it may not. In the process of appealing to the young'uns, they may have hurt their very core.

Do you think the new Beetle will fly?


Image via YouTube

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