By Nick Aziz
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007 @ 9:00 am
 
Back in February, German publication Auto Bild reported Volkswagen was working on a new low-cost rear-engine car to be sold in Europe and America. Details were scarce at the time, but now we have better idea of what to expect.



According to well-placed Volkswagen sources, the car will be 130 inches long and cost $10,000 to $14,000, reports Automobile magazine. It won't feature power steering, but ABS, a sunroof, and even a navigation system will be offered.

Expect power to come from a three-cylinder engine in the U.S. version, and two or even one-cylinder motors abroad, the report said.

The new model will be something of a spiritual revival of the original Beetle, which had its engine in the back. Currently, the only other modern cars with a rear engine are the Porsche 911 and Smart ForTwo.

The project is the brainchild of Ferdinand Piëch -- grandson of Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche and nephew of Porsche AG founder Ferry Porsche. Piëch -- who was once chairman of VW -- reportedly convinced now-CEO Martin Winterkorn to proceed with the project.

While there are some obvious concerns with a rear-engine layout, VW sources told Automobile a sophisticated stability control system will make the vehicle easy and safe to drive.

No one knows what the new car will look like, but Auto Bild's illustration from earlier this year offers at least one idea.