For this week's concept car Friday, we're taking a step back from the supercars and luxury sports sedans that we normally feature and take a look at the People's Car of the future. It's no secret that Volkswagen's New Beetle is at the end of its life cycle and that a major redesign is just around the corner. But what will this Newer Beetle look like? We hope not nearly as bland as the new Jetta, but VW isn't talking.
Meanwhile in Brazil, where the classic VW Beetle (or VW Fusca, as it is known there) is still hugely popular, designer Eduardo Oliveira offers his take on what he thinks the next-generation punch buggy should look like and--unsurprisingly--it borrows more than a few styling cues from the 1960s vintage.
Oliveira's Fusca features a creased hood with a raised center ridge that is cribbed almost directly from the classic. The hood is flanked by exaggerated front fenders that are punctuated by a set of very complex headlamps that feature an organic design and modern HID lighting elements.
Oliveira has penned two-door and four-door variants of his Fusca concept--the latter featuring rear-hinged "suicide"-style doors--and even an odd CrossFusca dune buggy concept. All of the body types share the same rounded roofline that travels uninterrupted from the A-pillar to the rear bumper. The rear fenders appear to be slightly wider than the current-generation Beetle, but the rear end features more-organic curves where the current model is rather geometric.
Dimensions aren't specified, but the Fusca concept is visually smaller than the current Beetle, an odd move in a world where models tend to grow larger with each generation--but if it worked for the Nissan 370Z, it could work for the Beetle. Power train options are also purely speculative, but an air intake slit in the C-pillar hints at a return to the rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive configuration of the classic VW Beetle. Oliveira tosses out all sorts of engine options, from a 1-liter eco-friendly option to a 1.6-liter turbodiesel power train for a Fusca GTI variant. Since we're speculating, we suggest you add VW's award-winning 1.4-liter TSI Twincharger engine to the potential mills beneath the Fusca's rear hatch.
Pop over the Oliveira's site, Irmaododecio, for even more photos of and details about the Fusca concept. The site's in Portuguese, so bring your favorite translator along for the ride.