The Volkswagen Beetle, a machine that has a grand total of three (count ’em) generations since its introduction, will be ushered out the factory door in Puebla next July. The modern Bug, as we know it today, showed up as a concept car in 1997 and entered production a couple of years later as the New Beetle. In 2011, the car found itself restyled and rechristened as simply the Beetle, just like the old Beetle. But not the New Beetle, even though most people continued to call the New New Beetle the New Beetle, despite its official name being simply Beetle.
Achtung! No one ever said naming conventions had to make sense.
Whatever you want to call it, production of the car will wrap up in mid-2019. As a send off, VW has crafted a special model option called the Final Edition.
To celebrate the Beetle’s heritage, two special models will join the lineup for its last model year, to be called the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL. It’ll be available in coupe and convertible body styles. Collect ’em all!
As with most special editions of this sort, the paint booth has been prepped for a couple of new hues. Safari Uni is a reinvention of Harvest Moon Beige, a color from the (old) New Beetle. Meanwhile, the shade of Stonewashed Blue is a nod to the 1970 Jeans Bug and most recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim. Eagle-eyed Bug spotters will be able to pick out Final Editions by way of body-color side mirrors, some chrome trim, and a Turbo badge on the rump instead of a Beetle script.
All coupes, regardless of trim, will have a sunroof. SEs will sport 17-inch alloys, while SELs will have 18-inch hoops. SEL trims add Bi-Xenon headlights, LED taillights, fog lamps. Inside, the Final Edition Beetles get different upholstery than their peers. The SE gets cloth and leatherette seats while the SEL gets the real stuff.
All 2019 Beetle models, including both convertible and coupe and this Final Edition, are powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine that makes 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. VW says all Final Editions are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. No stick shift, sadly.
With the North American market expressing a seemingly permanent desire for crossover vehicles and all-wheel drive machines, Beetle development dollars are likely to now be shovelled into those programs. Top brass at VW in Germany are keen to slim down the company’s product portfolio and platform count. This’ll help.
Hinrich Woebcken, head honcho of VW America, said that there are no immediate plans to replace the Beetle, but did point out “as we have seen with the I.D. BUZZ, which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus, I would also say, ‘Never say never,’” leaving the door open for a (probably electric) return of the Beetle sometime in the future.
Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for the SE and $25,995 for the SEL. Add about four grand if you want the ragtop.
[Images: Volkswagen of America]