It’s been a long time since Volkswagen revealed the New Beetle and nearly as long since we named it the 1999 Import Car of the Year. The Beetle’s 2012 redesign helped reignite sales, but ever since then, interest in the retro-styled coupe has tapered off. As a result, it comes as no surprise to hear the Beetle will be canceled next year. Before it goes out, though, Volkswagen’s introduced two new Final Edition packages.
Inspired by the 2003 Ultima Edicion, both the Final Edition coupe and convertible will be offered with beige or light blue paint, as well as a few other colors. Convertibles will also get their own brown top (except for the beige convertibles, which get a different top). Other exterior changes are limited to some chrome trim, body-color side-view mirrors, a rear “Beetle” badge, and unique wheels. Inside, the Final Edition gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, a beige dash, and special upholstery. Upgrading from the SE to the SEL version adds a number of other features, including Xenon headlights and LED taillights, larger wheels, diamond-stitched leather seats, navigation, and a premium audio system.
“The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen’s North American President and CEO, in a release. “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it. But 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.’ We’re excited to kick off a year of celebrating one of the true icons of the automotive world, with a series of events that will culminate in the end of production in Puebla in July 2019.”
This isn’t the first time VW has hinted the Beetle might return someday as an EV. Last year, VW brand chief Herbert Diess said if the automaker were to do another Beetle, it would be electric and rear-drive. Woebcken’s comments suggest that idea is being seriously considered.
Pricing for the Final Edition coupe starts at $23,940 including destination, with the SEL version adding another $2,950. Convertibles will start at $28,190 or $30,890 if you want the SEL.