These are the first spy shots of the brand-new VW Beetle Cabriolet - and our spy photographer has captured it completely undisguised. Previewed by the E-Bugster concept, shown at the Detroit Motor Show last week, the new Cabriolet is designed to have a more masculine appearance than the car it replaces.
Pointers towards the more muscular look are everywhere on this prototype. The roofline is much lower and the glasshouse is narrower than the old car's, with more steeply raked front and rear windows - a theme hinted at on the E-Bugster.
While closely linked to the old car, with its bulging wheelarches that flow into the front and rear bumpers, the bodywork features sharp creases instead of rounded edges. The result is a more modern look that should have a wider appeal, without losing the Beetle's distinctive silhouette.
Engine choices are expected to reflect the hard-top, which arrives in the UK in April. That means it will initially be offered with 104bhp 1.2 TSI and 158bhp 1.6 TSI petrol engines, with a 197bhp 2.0 TSI following at a later date. A 138bhp 2.0 TDI diesel version of the Beetle hatchback is scheduled to debut at the Chicago Motor Show next month, and that engine - a crucial addition for the UK market - is certain to be offered in the Cabriolet, too.
This four-seater Cabriolet isn't the only drop-top Beetle VW has in the pipline. We learned at the Detroit show that VW is planning a two-seater speedster version of the Beetle, also previewed by the E-Bugster concept, in Detroit.