German automaker Volkswagen AG unveiled its New Beetle and claims it as the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever.

 The Beetle is now characterized by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness. The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front hood is longer, the front windshield is shifted further back and has a much steeper incline. All of this creates a new dynamism, said Volkswagen Brand Design Chief, Klaus Bischoff in a statement.

The 2012 Beetle is 71.2 inches wide (3.3 inches wider), 58.5 inches tall (.5 inches lower) and 168.4 inches long (6 inches longer). The new focal point is the C-pillar. The development team also increased the car's track widths and wheelbase.

Another feature is the rear spoiler that is integrated into the design (standard on 2.0L TSI engines with 200 hp). The top surface of the rear spoiler is black, while the underside is painted in body color.

The Beetle is sportier, offering both turbo-charged TDI Clean Diesel and turbo-charged gasoline engines, in addition to dual exhaust, performance-handling packages, 19-inch wheels, sport seats and new, sleeker styling.

Meanwhile, the transparent, panoramic tilt/slide glass sunroof is 80 percent larger than on the previous model. The insulating glass blocks 99 percent of UV radiation and 92 percent of heat energy.

The 2012 Beetle will offer three engines: the 2.5 litre gasoline five cylinder, the 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel and the 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline engine. Transmission choices will include a 5-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic on 2.5L models. Volkswagen's acclaimed DSG® 6-speed dual-clutch transmission will be offered on the TDI Clean Diesel and 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline models, while a 6-speed manual will come standard.

The 2012 Beetle 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel is the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever, the company said in a statement.

The quiet, four cylinder 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel engine produces 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft of torque. It meets all U.S. emission limits and offers manufacturer estimates of 40 mpg highway, 29 mpg city, and 33 mpg combined.

Fuel economy values are also improved up to 10 percent over prior 2.5 litre five cylinder engine models. Mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, it offers manufacturer estimates of 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The optional 6-speed automatic offers manufacturer estimates of 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway. The five cylinder engine produces 170 hp and 177 lb.-ft of torque.

Meanwhile, the four cylinder turbo engine is estimated to provide 30 mpg highway fuel economy. To ensure that power is applied properly in challenging conditions, the 2.0L TSI model features the XDS cross differential (limited-slip) system. The system electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the wheel or wheels with the most traction.

In addition, Volkswagen will offer a panoramic roof, a range of audio options, including the Fender Premium Audio System, and a customization program for the 2012 Beetle with a large number of personalization options, including a wide variety of colors and wraps along with an annual theme model.

Volkswagen's automatic keyless entry and starting system, which allows the driver to operate without a door or ignition key,is appearing for the first time in the Beetle. When one of the front door handles is touched, the system detects access authorization from a transmitter, then unlocks the Beetle and starts the engine with the push of a button.

The 2012 Beetle also features both active and passive safety. It includes Volkswagen's advanced Intelligent Crash Response System, which initiates automatic safety protection in some types of collisions - the electrical supply to the fuel pump is shut off, the doors unlock and the hazard lights switch on.

The 21st Century Beetle is also covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. All scheduled maintenance is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty - three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

Key facts summary:

Name: The Beetle

World debut: April 18, 2011

Market launch, North America: September / October 2011

Market launch, Europe: October / November 2011

Market launch, Asia: February 2012

Equipment lines: Design and Sport

Engine specifications: 2.5L 5-cylinder (170hp/177lbs.-ft); 2.0L TDI (140hp/236lbs.-ft); 2.0L TSI (200 hp/207 lbs.-ft)

All US engines fulfil BIN5 / ULEV PZEV

Fuel economy (combined) USA: 33 mpg* (2.0 TDI® Clean Diesel) [Manufacturer's estimate. EPA estimates not available at time of publication.]

Designers: Walter de Silva (Group), Klaus Bischoff (Brand), Exterior: Marc Lichte (team leader), Cris Lesmana, Nisan Kucam. Interior: Tomasz Bachorski (team leader), Ingo Brückmann. Colour and trim: Oona Scheepers (team leader), Susanne Gerken

Exterior dimensions: 168.4 in. Length; 72.1 in. Width; 58.5 in. Height; 99.8 in. Wheelbase

Original Beetle US sales: 1949 - 1979

Total Original Beetle US sales: 4,988,350

New Beetle US sales: 1998 - 2010

Total New Beetle US sales: 477,347

Total units built to date worldwide: more than 22.5 million