Final Edition means Final Edition.
The Volkswagen Beetle is one of the most recognisable cars on the road, a nameplate that has existed for as long as the German marque has. In its prolific decades since the first example was built, the car has come to embody a certain type of motorist, and these include some high profile celebrity owners who appreciate the funky eccentricity and simplicity of this car.
Naturally, this is referring to the rear-engine air-cooled Type 1 and not platform-shared A5 version (still) available today. Production on the original Beetle continued relatively unabated from 1938 all the way to 2003, though the name lives on far more modern evolutions.
However, all good things must come to an end, and so the time has come for the VW Bug to hang its hat after over 80 years. During the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess elaborated on the company’s roadmap and goals for its next generation of cars - one which, sadly, does not include the Beetle, as he confirmed to Motor Trend.
At that Swiss motor show earlier this month, the VW honcho said that there are no plans to have the company’s new EV platform spawn an all-electric Beetle reincarnate, citing the conflicts of ‘covering’ Volkswagen’s new zero emissions line-up with their past models despite it being far less technically straining than doing so with an equivalent combustion-powered car.
If what Herr Diess says is an accurate portrayal of Volkswagen’s disinterest in continuing the Beetle, this is proof positive that the famous silhouette won’t be returning, any form, be it as a hybrid, full electric, or even a production-bound concept.
While there’s no reason to suspect the VW CEO of steering us toward an intentionally low set of expectations, it should be noted that at that same venue, the company was showing off the I.D Buggy, a bright green open-air electric concept inspired by the highly modified off-road dune toys of old made with Volkswagen Type 1 shells.
It’s not likely to ever see a showroom floor, of course, but it does throw a wrench into the earlier statement about Volkswagen’s new electrified cars’ conscious refrain from siphoning the cachet of past icons. As it stands now, though, it appears that the Beetle Final Edition really does warrant its title.