Volkswagen today announced that production of the current, third-generation Beetle will end in July 2019, with a special Final Edition trim, shown above, serving as the model’s send-off.
Introduced in 2011, the current Beetle is only the third generation of model, based on the front-wheel drive platform of the MkVI Golf. It followed the so-called New Beetle, which was in production from 1997 to 2011.
In a statement, VW Group of America head Hinrich Woebcken reflected on the end of this icon, while providing some hope for the Beetle’s possible return as an electric car.
The Final Edition Beetle pays tribute to the last iteration of the original, rear-engine Beetle, which was built in Mexico in 2003. Those Última Edición Beetles were available in beige or light blue, and featured lots of chrome detailing and other retro bits.
Buyers of the Final Edition Beetle will be able to opt for a coupe or convertible in either SE or SEL trim levels. The cheapest will be the SE coupe at $23,000, while the $30,000 SEL convertible will be the most expensive. All will come equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder making 174 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic.
Frank Welsch, R&D boss for Volkswagen, confirmed today at the Geneva Motor Show there will be no replacement for the current Beetle in the company’s lineup. The retro-inspired slot will instead be occupied by VW’s all-electric microbus, the I.D. Buzz.
Currently, Volkswagen offers the Beetle as a coupe or convertible, as well as a special “Dune” edition. According to previous rumors, production could end as soon as this year, while arrival for the production version of the I.D. Buzz isn’t expected until 2022.
The new Beetle has been in production since 1997, with a new generation arriving in 2011. Before that was the classic Beetle, a rear-engine, air-cooled two-door considered to be the one of most important cars of the 20th century.
There’s no word on whether Volkswagen will bring back the Beetle in the future, but considering it’s done it once before, we don’t see why it couldn’t happen again, should the market demand it.