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A Bug’s Life: End of the Line for the Beetle

Even a Bug’s life doesn’t last forever. This week at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen confirmed that the current generation of its Beetle will be the last. The news came from Frank Welsch, VW’s head of R&D.

The New Beetle was launched in 1997, signifying the rebirth of the legendary small VW car that enjoyed an incredibly popular heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, becoming an iconic symbol of its time. A second generation of the reborn model saw the light of day in 2011.

The current Beetle, available in coupe or convertible version, is the oldest model in the Volkswagen lineup in terms of updates and technologies, so it is not entirely surprising to see the model shut down, even if in recent years there had been some statements made by the automaker regarding a possible hybrid version.

Rumours are floating that production of the Beetle may cease as early as the end of the year. The German automaker intends to fill its spot in the vehicle lineup with the future production version of the equally retro-minded I.D. BUZZ microbus concept, although that model is not expected to be ready until 2022.


Photo: Volkswagen