You will be missed, my friend.
Volkswagen will put the production of its legendary Beetle to an end later this year after more than seven decades on the assembly lines. The U.S. market Beetle Final Edition SE which starts at $23,940 will be the final Beetle produced with an internal combustion engine and now we have a confirmation the retro-inspired model won’t receive an electric successor.
MotorTrend had the chance to chat with Volkswagen’s CEO, Herbert Diess, at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and discussed a lot of topics with the head honcho of the German brand. Among them was a potential EV replacement for the Beetle for which Diess said it is not currently in the cards.
Our colleagues asked VW’s boss directly whether we will see an electric Beetle and, at first, Diess just replied: “You can do such derivatives probably easier this way than on conventional platforms. That basically made the ID Buzz possible because with that platform you have the flat battery so you have a lot of design freedom. You can do many very emotional vehicles easier.”
And then, after another direct question about a potential electric Beetle, he added: “No. You have to do something emotional, but I think we can't cover the historic lineup of Volkswagen with electric cars, and we shouldn't.”
This pretty clearly confirms there won’t be a new Beetle, be it with an ICE, a hybrid, or with an electric powertrain. But, according to Diess, it is gone for good as the I.D. Buggy that was revealed in Geneva will be the emotional vehicle that will replace the Beetle indirectly. It will almost definitely go into production as a limited-run series.
Apparently, we’ll have to say our last goodbye to the Beetle by the end of this year. It’s sad to see such a storied nameplate leave the industry but it’s a well-deserved retirement after millions of sales over more than seven decades.