By on September 14, 2018

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]

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22 Comments on “VW Reveals the Last Beetle – And This Time, It’s Final. Maybe....”

  • avatar

    How about a final movie…”Herbie: Stolen in Albuquerque”.

  • avatar

    I liked these. Sad to see them go

    • 0 avatar

      Like a complete narcissist, I’ll copy and paste my own comment from March 8 of this year.

      To SCE to AUX’s comment below, I’ll add that four adults actually fit in the convertible when the top is down; I’m not sure about when it’s up. That said, my feet were under the driver’s seat rather than behind and below it, which subjectively I find terrifying. I feel like were we to wreck, my feet would trap me in the car.

      – – –

      As I’ve mentioned in previous VW threads, friends have a convertible, and it’s kind of a guilty pleasure for me. Some thoughts:
      – I too see a 356 resemblance, though I’ve been embarrassed to admit it.
      – I’ve ridden in it but not driven it. Built in Puebla or not, it does seem to have a Germanic, semi-premium quality that I like. I’ve never owned a VW, but I can see why some people like them or at least have a love-hate relationship with them.
      – The 1.8T seems peppy. My friends and I grew up in a slow-car era, so 0-60 in the low 8’s seems plenty quick to us.
      – The only “argh, VW” thing that’s gone wrong was a faulty passenger window regulator, which happened about two months into their ownership experience. Fixed under warranty and not a problem since then. (Like an Elwood Engel Continental or later Mercedes hardtops, the frameless windows do that trick of lowering themselves a fraction of an inch when you open the door.)
      – No issues with DI/carbon build-up, at least not yet.
      – The icing on the cake is that theirs is a ’14 that had not sold during an end-of-model-year sale. It sat on the lot until the ’16s were on the horizon, so my friends got it at a huge discount.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nice colors, nice seats.

    I almost bought a new 02 Beetle, but ended up leaving with a Passat due to the better back seat room. The Beetle is essentially a 2-passenger car.

  • avatar

    The trouble with the “New” Beetle is that it was always too damn big. Should have been built off the Polo platform instead of the larger Golf. And I for one am so sick of the German obsession with those damned quilted seats. Ugh.

  • avatar

    This is going to be like the Rolling Stones who had about 15 farewell tours.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe they should have a Rolling Stones edition again… :)

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t recall any Stones “farewell tours”. I do recall the Who having about 233 of them, though.

      Call it “The Pete Townshend Is Out Of Money Tour.”

      • 0 avatar

        I caught the Who’s first “Farewell Tour” when they played the Carrier Dome in 1982. I didn’t fall for it again. Like they say “You don’t learn anything the second time you get kicked by a horse”.

      • 0 avatar

        How many has Cher had? Her last tour was supposed to be 18 years ago when I was in high school. I just saw a Google ad promoting her latest farewell tour.

        Like the beetle, some things just need to go away in a timely manner. These examples have failed to live up to that.

  • avatar

    This car is just as much away from the original bug, as Neil Patrick Harris is from John Wayne.

    • 0 avatar

      Had Neil Patrick Harris tried to be John Wayne? Admittedly, I don’t keep up with celebs or all the latest movies/shows/etc, but the analogy would work better if one was actually attempting to do an impression of the other.

      • 0 avatar

        You will inevitably assume this as an insult, but it’s not —

        TTAC is undergoing a broad transformation, now with reader page views and comments in decline.

        TTAC is lucky to have you as a commentator, if only for analytics, because you LITERALLY live on this site, and must post an average of 20 comments per day (or 5% to 10% of total comments), helping to support TTAC during what could be a very rocky transition period.

        TTAC should compensate you, somehow, for being so home-bodied and tied to the ballast of TTAC, sacrificing any real world life in the process, and commenting in almost any article, regardless of subject matter, 24/7, as a matter of basic fairness.

        They could, as just one example, ship you food, beverages and basic provisions, to ensure that you get proper nutrition and hydration!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I have a soft spot for the Dune and GSR versions.
    Also the previous New Beetle Turbo S version was a sleeper 180 hp Audi TT.

  • avatar

    We don’t have playful cars anymore….

  • avatar

    It’s the final count down.

    But seriously, Beetle getting too old – plastic surgery upon plastic surgery and not all successful and it looks now like aged Hollywood or rock star – ugly bordering on scary. Like Steven Tyler e.g.

  • avatar

    …volkswagen’s concept one debuted in ’94 and the production new beetle became available in ’97, kind of an radical triumph for concept-to-production mass-market cars at the time…

  • avatar

    …volkswagen’s concept one debuted in ’94 and the production new beetle became available in ’97, kind of a radical triumph for concept-to-production mass-market cars at the time…

    …unfortunately, volkswagen’s turn-of-the-millenium reliability didn’t follow through on the gleaming twenty-first-century ideal its concept profferred, nor did they ever follow up on that original design vision which took the public’s breath away…the subsequent watered-down bastard-machismo half-effort of a long-overdue refresh could only ever have led to this inevitable outcome: ignored, unfit for the market, and unmissed until rediscovery of its original charm some twenty years hence, fresh again to fresh minds…

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