Chalk up another milestone for Volkswagen. The German automaker is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the introduction of its New Beetle model.
Originally unveiled as a design study car called “Concept 1” at the Detroit auto show in 1994, the New Beetle made its worldwide debut in 1998. Since then it has solidified its place in North American pop culture, transcending consumers’ age, income, education and gender to connect classic Beetle enthusiasts with contemporary audiences.
“We are extremely proud to celebrate the anniversary of the New Beetle, an iconic vehicle that has made a remarkable impact on automotive and pop culture history,” said Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Although it borrowed general design cues from its classic predecessor, the New Beetle remains a completely contemporary creation, evolving to incorporate engineering advances including a redesigned chassis and a water-cooled front engine. With its sloping headlamps, large round tail lamps and arched roofline, the vehicle features distinct styling.
In fact, its iconic silhouette is now considered the most easily recognized profile in automotive history, according to auto industry analyst J.D. Power and Associates.
Since the New Beetle Sedan’s debut in 1998, Volkswagen has also launched a New Beetle Convertible model, featuring a three-layer cloth top with a heated glass rear window for year-round fun.
Since its introduction, more than 1 million units have been produced worldwide.