In fact, Hammond focusses very much on the style of the 1.4 VW Beetle: “These body-coloured parts – the steering wheel and door cappings are coloured, too – transform the inside of the car, turning it from worthy but dull to somewhere that you’d like to sit. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather with a nice slim-rim and there’s a double glove box just as there was on the original Beetle.”
Away from the colourways, Hammond like the change in dimensions Volkswagen have implemented: “The new design is wider, longer and lower, the 1998 Volkswagen Beetle was based on the MkIV VW Golf and this new car is a bit of a mixture of VW bits and bobs.”
Hammond has mixed thoughts on the new VW Beetle’s performance and practicality “You could go drag racing with a 158bhp air-cooled Beetle but in this heavier 2012 Beetle almost 160bhp only propels you to 62mph in 8.3sec. The Beetle is not particularly practical. There’s a square-shaped boot that holds 310 litres of kit and two rear seats that can be split 50/50 and folded down.”
The Volkswagen Beetle 1.4 TSI is a three-door hatch, not cheap at £19,470, with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder, 158bhp, 0-62mph: 8.3sec and runs at 42.8mpg.