The ’new’ New Beetle has just been revealed with subtle but stylish new looks that fashionably updates, yet maintains, the core emotional appeal of the iconic New Beetle design first launched in 1998.
The 2006 New Beetle features a new bumper design that flows from the hood and trunk and wraps unobstructed into the fender sides. The turn signals in the front bumper are slimmer and underline new, more oval headlamps. In back, small white circles of turn signals lights are set inside at the bottom of the larger, red circle tail lamps. Along the sides, sharper wheel arches accent stronger character lines, and an oval fuel filler door replaces the previous rectangular door.
The new shape is streamlined, more dynamic, and gives the 2006 New Beetle a greater presence with a stronger, slightly more aggressive and masculine appearance.
Inside, an updated single-bezel instrument cluster houses a large and easily read 140 mile-per-hour speedometer plus a smaller tachometer and fuel gauge and a single LCD screen for information. Chrome accents enhance the instrument cluster and the dashboard air vents. For added comfort and convenience, the side sun visors have been redesigned, and a newly-designed console includes improved cup holders.
The 2006 New Beetle is available with a choice of two engines: an all-new 2.5-liter, in-line five-cylinder gasoline engine and a 1.9-liter, in-line four-cylinder diesel engine. Both engines are transversely mounted to better fit in the relatively small front engine bay, with power from both engines delivered to the road via front–wheel–drive.
The all-new Volkswagen 2.5 L engine was developed specifically to meet the style and expectations of the North American driver. The 2.5-liter engine delivers 150 horsepower at 5,000 revolutions per minute and 170 ft.-lbs. of torque at 3,750 rpm, with 90 percent of that torque available from 1,750 to 5,125 rpm.
The New Beetle 2.5 L is snappy off the line and quiet when operated at the top end. Volkswagen engineers designed the new engine with four valves per cylinder, aluminum alloy cross flow heads, double overhead camshafts and chain-driven automatic tensioner. Maintenance-free hydraulic lifters add to ease of ownership. With digital electronic ignition and Motronic sequential multi-point fuel injection, the engine also is practical, burning regular unleaded gasoline.
Two transmissions are available with the 2.5 L in the New Beetle, a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic®. Both gear boxes were engineered to keep the engine operating in the ’sweet spot.’
The 2006 New Beetle 2.5 L goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as 8.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of up to 127 mph. Fuel economy for the 2.5 L manual transmission is 22 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. The automatic transmission registers 23 in the city and 32 on the highway.
For drivers seeking even greater fuel efficiency, the 2006 New Beetle 1.9 L TDI® features Volkswagen’s most advanced diesel engine technology. The 1.9-liter turbocharged direct injection diesel engine incorporates Pumpe Düse technology using high-pressure unit-injectors at each cylinder for greater fuel efficiency, improved performance and quieter engine operation.
With an EPA rating of up to 44 miles per gallon in highway driving and up to 37 mpg in the city, the New Beetle 1.9 L TDI has a range of 638 miles on a 14.5-gallon tank. As efficient as it is, the 1.9 L TDI is also spirited and powerful, making 100 hp at 4,000 rpm and outputting up to 177 ft.-lbs. of torque between 1,800 rpm and 2,400 rpm. In a sprint, the diesel-equipped New Beetle will go 0 to 60 mph in as little as 10.3 seconds.
The New Beetle 1.9 L TDI comes with a choice of two transmissions—a five-speed manual or an all-new six-speed DSG™ automatic transmission with Tiptronic. This direct shift gearbox uses a twin-plate, wet-clutch design that allows for fully automatic, semi-automatic and manual gear changes without the power interruption associated with traditional clutching.
For control and comfort, the New Beetle features power-assisted rack and pinion steering, independent front McPherson struts and a stabilizer bar and an independent track correcting torsion beam rear axle with an integrated stabilizer bar.
Standard equipment on the 2006 New Beetle includes many of the most popular features, including fully reclining, height-adjustable front seats; a three-spoke padded steering wheel with height adjustable and telescoping steering column; power and heated side-view mirrors; and a premium in-dash CD/MP3 radio with six speakers.
In addition, two option packages are available. ’Package 1’ includes a power glass sunroof, premium sound, and heated front seats and front windshield washer nozzles.
New Beetle option ’Package 2’ replaces the standard 16-inch alloy wheels and tires with larger, 17-inch models. In addition, the package adds fog lights, rain sensor automatic windshield wiper speed control and perforated leather seating surfaces, among other features.
Like all Volkswagen automobiles, the 2006 New Beetle comes equipped as standard with a host of safety features. An advanced driver and front passenger front airbag supplemental restraint system offers dual-stage deployment through sophisticated seat sensors. A driver and front passenger head/thorax side airbag supplemental restraint system also comes standard.
For the 2006 New Beetle, an Electronic Stabilization Program with brake assist has been added to the standard equipment. Standard traction control includes Anti-Slip Regulation and Electronic Differential Lock, in addition to the Electronic Stabilization Program.