Though VW resurrected the Beetle in the 90s albeit a front wheel drive one, it was quite successful in turning a people’s car into a premium chick car. VW has now tried to correct the female sex bias when repositioning/restyling the car.
But in my mind, the FWD Beetle is not the real Beetle. There can’t be a Beetle without a rear engine. Just like there can’t be a Porsche 911 without a flat-six rear engine.
|The VW Up! range|
So imagine my pleasant surprise when Volkswagen introduced the rear-engined Up! In my view, this was the real successor to the Beetle. Never mind its upright shape and lack of homage to the original.
|Up! – The spiritual successor to the Beetle|
VW also jumped on the bandwagon by getting an electric version of the Up!. The e-Up! seemed to be a viable proposition with a top speed of 84mph and a range of 80 miles. But it seems like VW lost courage and lost the momentum to the Nissan Leaf. So that was the first disappointment when VW gave us a fossil-fueled version instead. And to top it off, it gave us a front-engined model too. I thought VW would have the chops to bring out a rear engined model.
Alas, the bean counters decreed that the car should be based on the MQB platform. VW should have taken inspiration from TATA’s Nano which had the gumption to make a rear-engined model. If fact we could very well call the Nano as the New Beetle!
Though I am sure Martin Winterkorn is not going to be too happy with my suggestion that the Nano pirate the legacy of the original Beetle.