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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 11 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Page 3

retro model, especially one that changed so little over the course of its nearly seven-decade production run?

Earlier this year, VW took the wraps off the new (lowercase "n") Beetle. Moving from the platform shared with the fourth-generation Golf to the sixth-generation platform was just the start. The New (uppercase "N") Beetle took the essence of the legendary Volkswagen Type 1 and shaped it into a modernized caricature. For the new car, VW made the visual connections a little closer to the heart of the original.

On the road with the lower and wider 2012 model, I felt more as if I were behind the wheel of an old Beetle that, somehow, was more like a modern car than the New Beetle.

Gone is the New Beetle's seemingly mile-long dashboard. That vast space ahead of the driver made for an appropriate canvas for a diorama display (check out Mimi's car and its Troll dolls in old episodes of The Drew Carey Show for some ideas). Instead, the 2012 VW Beetle gains an up-to-date instrument panel subtly inspired in places by the Bugs of the 1960s. My test Turbo model sported body-colored interior pieces, setting off the main black trim.

The interior has less of a fishbowl feel to it than the outgoing model. Where the New Beetle had headroom to spare, the 2012 Beetle has adequate space for your cranium without making you feel you need a top hat (or booster seat) to fill the insides of the car. Thanks to this less agoraphobia-inducing design, you get the sense this is more of a car and less of the toy that its predecessor was.

Choices of power for the 2012 VW Beetle are similar to the earlier model. VW offers a standard 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine, but also turbo gas and turbo-diesel engines to suit consumers' desires for more power or less fuel consumption.

With its 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four, the Beetle Turbo moves quickly and has most of the fun found in the related GTI. Although a six-speed manual is available, most buyers will opt for the six-speed DSG automated manual,