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Oprah audience nabs free 2012 VW Beetles

by Andrew Ganz

VW and Oprah Winfrey teamed up to give 275 2012 Volkswagen Beetles to members of the star's daytime talk show audience.

Volkswagen's 2012 Beetle is still several months away, but that didn't stop TV talk show personality Oprah Winfrey from adding it to her list of "Favorite Things" and giving free cars to all of the members of her studio audience.

The studio audience members haven't seen their new cars yet; Oprah drove out onto the stage in a 2010 Beetle, but only showed off a silhouette of the new, more squat car. Luckily, Leftlane has very detailed spy photos of the yet-to-be-released 2012 Volkswagen Beetle.

VW donated the 275 Beetles to the show and the German automaker even included all taxes and fees, thus negating the biggest audience gripe the last time Oprah gave away cars back in 2004. Back then, Oprah handed out Pontiac G6s to her audience members, but the winners had to pick up the tax bill.

"Oprah Winfrey and the Volkswagen Beetle are two American icons, so when the Oprah show approached us with this incredible opportunity to share her Beetle experience with deserving viewers, we instantly wanted to be a part of it," said Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen of America, in a statement released to members of the media.

The 275 lucky audience members will have to wait several months to fetch their Beetles; the car won't go on sale for about eight months.