More power. Less flower.
That's the slogan of the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. Gone is the dainty vase that sat so proudly atop the vast prairie that stretched forth from the dashboard. Gone too are the soft female-friendly colours. No gentle blue. No comforting green. The signature round roof has been flattened, and the rear end is puckered like the lips on a tough-as-nails hockey coach.
This ain't your baby sister's VW Beetle.
The change is an attempt to get more men to buy the blessed Bug. According to the New York Times, almost 70 per cent of VW Beetle buyers are women. The folks at Volkswagen are now determined to even the male-female ratio to 50-50. They hope to achieve this by moving the car's design away from the female-friendly version released in 1998.
It's not the first time the Beetle has been given a facelift. Since its invention in 1934, the VW Bug has seen many incarnations: from frightening German idea to conquered frightening German idea to 1960s hippie icon. The best thing you could say about the chick-friendly Bug was that Hitler, the guy who dreamt up the idea of a "Volkswagen" ("The People's Car"), would have hated it.
But those frilly days are gone. Look for the designers at VW to keep upping the masculinity. Road Sage believes that next year's Beetle will be so infused with testosterone that you'll have to shave it each morning.
Here is a sneak peek at the features we can expect in VW's 2013 Beetle.
Centrally Positioned Manual Transmission: VW once again breaks the mold. While most manual transmissions have the stick on the right-hand side, the 2013 Beetle's Centrally Positioned Manual Transmission (CPMT) system puts it where a real man wants it – between his legs. To use this new manual system, the driver simply presses a button on the steering wheel and the 15-inch CPMT manual stick shift slowly emerges from the lip of the driver's seat. Note: Don't worry if you occasionally drop the clutch while getting used to your new stick shift. Sooner or later it happens to every guy!
Keyless Peak Voice Activation: Other cars can use an effete key or a dainty beep. The 2013 Beetle can only be opened by yelling. To gain entry the driver must walk up to their Bug and scream at it. If you're a sports fan, download your favorite coach reaming out his team, and play it through your mobile device. How do you lock the new Beetle? Simple. Using Peak Voice Activation technology, the driver merely explains to the Bug that "he's under a lot of pressure," apologizes for raising his voice and promises not to do it again.
Emotionally-Sensitive Power Windows: Every man knows – feelings suck. A real man's emotional range spans from "none" to "drunk." Still, every once in a while a feeling slips out and even the toughest dude in the world can be found emitting a little precipitation from the eyeball vicinity. When this happens the 2013 Beetle's "emotion detectors" sense the humidity and immediately throw up sound-proof, pitch-black tinted windows to hide the embarrassing display. So, turn on REM's Everybody Hurts and obsess over that lost childhood pet or failed marriage. In the new 2013 VW Beetle's man space, nobody can hear (or see) you scream.
Passenger Side Breathalyzer: Hey, there is only one reason a masculine man will forgo the joys of binge-level alcohol consumption – he's doing his bro (who's had one too many) a solid by being the designated driver and taking him home. Hence the "PSB." Put simply: the 2013 VW Beetle will not start unless your passenger is inebriated. The ignition is triggered, not by a key but by alcohol fumes. Did your passenger fail to blow over? Tell him to get back in the pub and pound back a few more light beers. You want to get home and watch the game.
The 2013 VW Beetle will be available in the following colours:
- Repressed Green
- UFC Red
- Hazing Yellow
- Terse Blue
- Stoic Pink
Power Look Mirrors: When a driver takes a glimpse in one of the 2013 VW Beetle's rear views he's in for a pleasant surprise: actor Tom Selleck staring back at him. In fact, every mirror in every 2013 Beetle is designed to make the driver, no matter his race, creed or age, look like Tom Selleck. Depictions of Tom Selleck range from 1980s Magnum P.I. to 1990s Quigley Down Under.
Genderalized Seating System: The 2013 VW Beetle boasts the world's first "genderalized" seating system. Both driver and passenger seats are loaded with state-of-the-art ultrasound technology. Seconds after a human backside has been deposited to cushion, the GSS can immediately identify whether the car's driver is male or female. If the GSS determines that the driver is female and the passenger male, it sends out a distress signal to the Beetle's central command centre. The car's ignition is shut down, the female driver is asked to leave the vehicle and the male passenger is given 20 minutes to regain his manhood.
Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy