Current generation of retro-styled car will be the last, VW's R&D boss reveals

The Volkswagen Beetle will not be replaced and will go out of production after its current generation, the firm's R&D boss Frank Welsch has confirmed.

The future of the retro-styled Beetle has been in doubt for some time. Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Welsch said that the production version of the VW ID Buzz electric concept – which takes cues from the Type 2 Transporter – would take the place of the Beetle as a retro-inspired model in the VW range.

Geneva motor show: news and updates

Welsch said "two or three generations is enough now" for the Beetle. He added that the car was "made with history in mind but you can't do it five times and have a new new new Beetle".

The Beetle is sold as a coupé and a convertible, and Welsch said that the recently confirmed T-Roc convertible was a replacement for the Beetle Cabriolet as much as the Golf and Eos convertible models.

Volkswagen ID Vizzion revealed at Geneva show

The role of a 'heritage' model in the future for VW would instead be served by VW's recreation of the Microbus rather than a Beetle, with a production version of the ID Buzz due around 2021/22 based on the VW Group's new electric platform.

First drive: Volkswagen ID Buzz concept

"With MEB [the VW Group's electric car platform], you can do a bus and be an authentic vehicle with the original shape, and steering wheel mounted like the original. You can't do that with an engine in the front. The shape you see on the concept is realistic," said Welsch.

"People asked when production starts on the car, so we decided to go that way. Better to have that than having five generations of a new Beetle.

"We had all these Microbus concepts in the past but all were front-engined. The physicality of bringing it on MQB or PQ-something to life does not work."

VW launched the New Beetle in 1997, with a second-generation model following in 2011.

Read more

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First drive: Volkswagen ID Buzz concept

Geneva motor show: news and updates

Volkswagen ID Vizzion revealed at Geneva show

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6 March 2018
I was hoping for a new electric Beetle that could have been much better packaged without an engine in the front, and been a little more compact than the current model. I hope they reconsider at some point in the near future.

7 March 2018

Frankly, I've always hated the New Beetle, a bad retro idea

7 March 2018

I understand your viewpoint sabre but my wife has had three and loves them. It's not designed for or targeted at you, evidently, but for the niche of people who want a car of that size that isn't a pretend SUV or two bland boxes it delivered a retro-styled car that was nice to drive and appealing. She'll be sad they're not replacing it as will other Beetle owners I know. Not for everyone but far from a bad retro idea for its advocates.

7 March 2018

It's a shame that VW are losing the Beetle following the dropping of the Scirocco. It seems that all their small and medium cars are all just look a little boxy. Good cars I'm sure but lacking in individuality and style. But this is obviously what a large majority of people want. Is this a sad reflection of society now where all people want to do is blend in with everyone else?

7 March 2018

"two or three generations is enough now" for the Beetle. He said the car was "made with history in mind but you can't do it five times and have a new new new Beetle"


Tell this to MINI. 

I much prefer the 2 generations of the new Beetle to the 3 generations of the MINI

While MINI does no more than slight variations on the same theme (worse in each iteration), the 2 generations of the new Beetle are conceptually very different. Each generation re-interprets different aspects of the original. Pure genius.

Meanwhile I look forward to the new Microbus.

7 March 2018

I don't think that they fully explored their design heritage that included the Porsche 356 that evolved into the 911. Taking the current Beetle forward with ultra-modern design and embracing aspects of the Scirocco might have made for an interesting range of 5 seater coupe, convertible, 5 door fastback, SUV and more.

7 March 2018

In design terms VW never really pushed the Beetle potential. Both the new and new new Beetles were interesting but always had something missing. Maybe we'll see a another new Beetle in the future, an electric model as gussy51 suggests would be good as it would allow more freedom with the design. All that said, the Microbus is very exciting I just hope it is priced realistically. 

7 March 2018

The new beatle has never been a huge seller, plus it’s heavier and less aerodynamic than the golf it is based on.

Also they have done it as they are killing off the 3-Door option on the golf platform.

7 March 2018

.... goodbye embarrassing retro tat.

Steam cars are due a revival.

8 March 2018

I too was hoping that, if they did anything with the Beetle it would be a smaller, electric powered version to give a USP. Being now slightly larger than the Golf on which it is based, and with little else to make it stand out, I'm not surprised I see so few on the roads.    @ tomy90, I didn't realise that VW had said they were dropping the 3-door Golf though, thats a big shame for anyone wanting a GTi in the future.


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