Flat Wheels - 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Flat Wheels

September 6, 2012

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Flat-bottomed steering wheels are like profanity to me. Used in the right setting, it's poignantly perfect. In the wrong setting, well, it's just plain stupid.

Volkswagen and Audi seem to be the worst offenders when it comes to flat-bottomed wheels. At least for me, the whole purpose of flattening the wheel is to permit enough room for a racer's thighs. Did you catch that? A racer. As in, a racer in a race car.

Most race cars have quick steering ratios that never require a racer to turn the wheel much past 90 degrees in either direction. Go past that point, as you regularly do in a road car, and that flat bottom interrupts the normal flow of rotation.

On the bright side, I am quite a fan of the function and feel of Audi/VW wheels. But let's leave the flatness to race cars, mmkay? Plus, in keeping with the retro styling of the Beetle, a round wheel seems more appropriate, wouldn't you agree?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 5,175 miles

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