VW Audi Group designers J Mays 'and Freeman Thomas' crisp, clean interpretation of the iconic Beetle shape featured a transverse-mounted front engine and front drive. Most people assumed this star of the 1994 Detroit show was based on Golf hardware. But it wasn't. It took four years for the Golf-based production version, New Beetle, to appear. It singlehandedly inspired a swarm of retro cars, including the New Mini, the 2005 Mustang, the Fiat 500, and the Dodge Challenger.
While VW Germany was reluctant to resurrect the Beetle, the Americans were all for it and designed it as a show car for the 1994 Detroit Motorshow. If you think it was pretty much like the final New Beetle, you would be wrong. Concept One had all the curves of the final production car but was based on the Polo platform and was, therefore, a much smaller car.
The response was so overwhelming that production was assured, and the decision was made to base the production model on the Golf platform. The New Beetle was a concept that well and truly made it.
Sources: www.motortrend.com; www.ltv-vwc.org.uk
Images: Volkswagen AG, Concept Car Central