In what could be one of the first public sightings of the brand new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle outside of a motor show, Youtube user JWalters84 passed by and filmed his short encounter with the car on a road in Laredo, Texas. What was it doing there? Well, who knows, but it's safe to assume that it’s probably a pre-production model used either by dealers or by VW Group employees since sales of the third generation of the Beetle in the USA will not start until September.
To answer the question "What was it doing there (Laredo)", I would venture to say that it is probably being tested at Mercedes-Benz's MBTech testing facilities formally known as the Laredo Uniroyal Proving Grounds which are about 13 miles North of town. Here's what MBTech's website has to say about our famous proving grounds. Before the streets were paved, all of Laredo was considered to be proving grounds of sorts.
Advantages for testing activities in Laredo, TX, include:
Secure site to assure confidentiality of the test programs
Quality customer support services
Experienced track maintenance/service staff on site
program runs smoothly and objectives are achieved on time and within budget.
Year-round testing possibilities due to geographical location with excellent climatic conditions for
hot-temperature/-weather testing(320 sunny days / average temp. 74.5 F/23.5 C) Excellent city & public road testing adjacent to the facility; alpine like driving conditions in Texas hill country inreasonable driving distance