Volkswagen has given the New Beetle its first freshening since the car debuted in 1998.
The 2006 New Beetle and its convertible derivative go on sale in August, according to a VW statement. The biggest change is a new standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 150 hp. VW is dropping the 2.0- and 1.8-liter engines.
Available transmissions will be a five-speed manual and a six-speed automatic with optional Tiptronic shifter.
VW has made an electronic stability program standard on all models.
The New Beetle's styling changes are subtle. The front and rear fascia, fenders and side sills are new. Front and rear lights are slightly changed.
Inside, changes also are modest. The console was moved and bigger cupholders were added. The car has a new instrument cluster.
VW hasn't given pricing, but the New Beetle now sells for between $17,185 and $22,615, including shipping. The convertible ranges from $21,905 to $27,140, including shipping.
The New Beetle went on sale in March 1998. The convertible debuted in November 2002. Since its introduction, VW has sold 393,017 New Beetles and 52,199 convertibles in the United States.
You may e-mail Diana T. Kurylko at