Put the Poncho Away: Volkswagen's Beetle Sees a 'Final Edition' for 2019

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
put the poncho away volkswagens beetle sees a 8216 final edition for 2019

Kiss the never-ending Summer of Love goodbye. Leaves are falling from the trees, there’s a chill in the air, and Becky from Sacramento just left with your best friend — and wallet. After two latter-day revivals, the Volkswagen Beetle, formerly the New Beetle, formerly the Beetle, formerly the KdF-Wagen, looks to be entering its final model year.

There’s no concrete plan to return it to the lineup at any point in the future, either, despite the tie-dyed dreams of certain wistful VW executives. Maybe this truly is the end.

According to VIN decoder documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and uncovered by VW Vortex, the Beetle line adopts ominous-sounding Final Editions for 2019. The same thing occurred in 2010, right before the transition from the annoyingly cheerful New Beetle to the slightly more serious, revamped Beetle. Of course, back then, there was something to look forward to.

Now, as Phil Collins once said, there’s just an empty space.

The Beetle coupe and convertible both see volume SE and higher-trim SEL Final Editions, while the hardtop sees regular base S and midlevel SE models, too. The drop-top doesn’t go in for the S trim level. As before, all Beetles see a 2.0-liter inline-four generating 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic.

It’s not like we weren’t warned the end of the line was fast approaching. VW R&D chief Frank Welch made it crystal clear that the Beetle wouldn’t return after the current generation ran its course, though the brainstorming of some execs kept hope alive. Perhaps an electric Beetle, one mused. Well, maybe a four-door electric Beetle, said another. Sales of the two-door niche model aren’t what they once were, and who’s to say a resurrected electric version based on VW’s I.D. platform would do any better?

VW of America saw 15,166 Beetle sales last year, down from over 43,000 during the first full year of the present-generation’s reign.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

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  • Erikstrawn Erikstrawn on Sep 13, 2018

    Meh. I have an '06 Beetle TDI in my driveway, dumping oil everywhere. It's on Craigslist for a reason.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Sep 13, 2018

    If this is the end of the Beetle, can a retro squareback be created? My sister had an original beetle, but coveted the squareback for its extra room. By moving the engine to a larger FWD space, it could become a true 2-door wagon.

  • Drnoose Probably just cutting conservative talk radio off at the knees. They can’t beat it, so kill it one way of the other.
  • Teddyc73 Looking forward to this. Hopefully it doesn't succomb to the leftist agenda and only come as an EV. If there is a gasoline version and a decent sized bed I'll consider this to replace my Ram 1500 when the day comes. Please let it be available in colors other than the same boring ones Ram has offered for years.
  • Xidex i haven't even turned the dial to AM since the 90's I think at that time it was only because there is one station i liked was on the AM dial (it is no longer around) Someone had to point to the station otherwise i wouldn't have even scanned the AM dial. I still think the AM dial should be left on radios though, If no one listened to it then there wouldn't be any stations would there.
  • Kwik_Shift I have five AM stations preset, each different from one another in terms of content. Some politics, some day to day, some do it yourselfing or help. Focus is more on local news and events. FM is just about pushing crap music and djs pushing the MSM message for their corporate overlords. FM is about making radio sound exactly the same all over North America. I like ONE FM station that plays different varieties of country music and has an entertaining dj. Overall, to each their own.
  • Kat Laneaux What's the benefits of this as opposed to the Ford or Nissan. Will the mileage be better than the 19 city, 24 hwy? Will it cost less than the average of $60,000? Will it be a hybrid?