Volkswagen to discontinue Beetle, Final Edition set for 2019
The 2019 model year will be the end of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle. VW says that it will be focusing on family-oriented vehicles going forward, and the Beetle does not meet that goal. The 2019 VW Beetle will have a special Final Edition model in its SE and SEL trims as a send-off.
"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans," said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.
Several other statements by the automaker, however, hint to what VW plans to do going forward. Woebcken specifically said that the company will be a "full-line, family-focused automaker in the US" and that the company will "ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform." He also seemed to be hinting that the Beetle could, potentially, return at a later date, but that there are "no immediate plans to replace it."
These statements give a few hints that will allow much speculation among the automotive press going forward. A "full-line automaker," for example, usually is defined as offering everything from compact cars to full-sized pickup trucks. With the Volkswagen Atlas pickup concept debuting earlier this year, that's a possibility.
What we do know is that, for now, the VW Beetle will be no more after the 2019 model year. For the Final Edition offerings, the Beetle will look back to its last "final hurrah" in 2003 when it was temporarily discontinued in the "Ultima Edicion." Those models were available in beige and light blue, and for 2019, the Final Edition Beetles will also be available in Safari Uni (beige) and Stonewashed Blue (as seen in the 2016 Beetle Denim). Unlike the previous Ultimas, however, the Final Edition models will also be available in other Beetle colors.
Setting apart the Beetle Final Edition models will be special badging, replacing the "Turbo" on the deck lid with "Beetle," unique wheels (17- or 18-inch), a "Beetle" clip on the steering wheel, stainless steel pedal caps, and interior color matching the exterior color choice.
The 2019 Volkswagen Beetle, no matter the model, will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, turbocharged to produce 174 horsepower (130 kW). Most standard equipment for the Beetle series will be included, along with upgrades for the Final Edition models to include driver-assistance technologies and safety systems. The 2019 Beetle SE Final Edition Coupe will start at US$23,045 through to the most expensive SEL Final Edition Convertible at $29,995.