Currently reading: Volkswagen confirms Beetle won't be replaced
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

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Marcus Mackay 10 March 2018

Lost opportunity

I think the 2nd gereration Beetle is a great coupe. My sister has one and loves it’s great looks and drive. But I think VW missed out on the opportunity to build a range around the car, which let’s face it received little love from VW. A £14k basic model with lots of custom options would have sold well, and a 400hp 5cylinder 4wd with 21st century Fuchs alloys would have been great.

Perhaps the real problem is that VW can’t reconcile funky with their brand any more.


TStag 10 March 2018

The Mini and Fiat 500 have

The Mini and Fiat 500 have been a success because at launch in the 50s/60s both cars represented the future of car design. They moved us on from the era of cars like the Beetle and Morris Minor and stylistically rather little changed ever since. The days of big wheel arches died with these cars. So when the MINI was launched the public saw it as both modern and retro. The Beetle just looked like a mobile version of the antiques road show.

There are charming cars like the MINI THAT deserve a relaunch as they tread the line between retro and modern much better than the Beetle, the microbus is one, the Triumph Stag is another....

eseaton 9 March 2018

This is very good news.

This is very good news.
si73 9 March 2018

eseaton wrote:

eseaton wrote:

This is very good news.

I dont get why, a little individuality is a good thing, surely. The mini and 500 are able to continue, if the current beetle doesnt sell well, improve it  base it on the smaller polo and make it cheaper. Personally I preferred the new beetle as opposed to the new new, just looked better imo.