Sunday, 21 July, 2019

From Nazis to hippies: End of the road for Volkswagen Beetle

Car and Driver VW pays tribute to the end of the air-cooled run with these Final Edition water-cooled Beetles Car and Driver VW pays tribute to the end of the air-cooled run with these Final Edition water-cooled Beetles
Russell Knight | 11 July, 2019, 16:44

"The loss of the Beetle after three generations and nearly seven decades should provoke a wide variety of emotions", said Steffen Reiche, the CEO of Volkswagen Mexico.

The last Volkswagen Beetle has rolled off the production in Puebla, Mexico, marking the end of production of the iconic model.

Since the days of the Beetle Volkswagen has a tough time of it.

Over the decades that the Volkswagen Beetle was in production, it has meant different things to different people. It then went on to develop a cult following and became a symbol of the 60's hippie counterculture in the US.

The New Beetle - a completely retro version build on a modified Golf platform - resurrected some of the old Beetle's cute, unconventional aura in 1998 under CEO Ferdinand Piech, Ferdinand Porsche's grandson.

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The limited, 65-unit run of the "Beetle Final Edition" will be sold in Mexico on the internet for a base price of $21,000 per vehicle, and can be reserved with a $1,000 payment.

Since then, with the introduction of the second and third generations, the Beetle was the one auto in the VW line up that retained a genuine sense of individuality and identity.

Known as the Type 1 back when Volkswagen was nothing more than the dream of a mad man, the Beetle was redesigned from the ground up in 1997 with the introduction of the New Beetle. Finally, the final generation of the Beetle sold more than 500,000.

The freed-up factory space in Mexico will be used to produce a new compact SUV intended for the North American market, the company said in a news release. Volkswagen has yet to say what the new SUV will be but they did mention that it will slot below the Tiguan.

The production of the final Beetle model was announced last September by Volkswagen, still trying to turn the page after the costly 2015 "dieselgate" scandal in which it paid out huge government settlements after rigging 11 million cars to cheat regulatory emissions tests.

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