The global demise of an icon is drawing closer, as evidenced by plans for an American farewell.
Volkswagen is preparing to kill the Beetle as we know it. To farewell the last internal-combustion Bug, and potentially the nameplate entirely, the company is reportedly planning a 2019 Final Edition in the USA.
According to VW Vortex, VIN information submitted to the US National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms a Final Edition will be brought into the USA as a farewell to the (second-generation) New Beetle, as Volkswagen prepares to push into the world of electric power with its ID brand.
Australia has already seen a Final Edition. Just 53 were built to see off the nameplate Down Under, after slow sales forced its axing in 2017. With retro graphics, chrome hubcap-style wheels and a black roof, it cost $36,990 before on-roads. It was one of numerous special editions, the ranks of which included the Guitar-inspired Fender Edition.
Although Volkswagen USA has done Final Edition models for the Beetle in past, farewelling the first 'New Beetle' with a special edition in 2010, there's more to the story with this latest model.
Frank Welsch, Volkswagen R&D boss, last year told Autocar you can't have a "new, new, new Beetle" and, instead, "two or three generations is enough now".
The retro connection is likely to be supplied by the Kombi-inspired ID Buzz from around 2020.
"Emotional cars are very important for the brand," Herbert Diess, Volkswagen brand chief, told AutoExpress last year. Although he was referencing the Beetle at the time, he said the company "will also have the Microbus that we showed, which we have recently decided to build".