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Volkswagen Beetle to be dropped after current model


One of the model reported last year to be facing the chop, Volkswagen R&D Head Frank Welsch has confirmed that the Golf 5 based Beetle would not be replaced at the end of its current lifecycle.

In an interview last year, the automaker announced that both the Beetle and Scirocco would be discontinued due to slow sales and the move towards electric vehicles, namely its I.D. range of models.

Order books for the Scirocco, which has seen only minor updates since bowing in 2008, officially closed in October with Welsch stating that the model would only return as a member of the I.D. family using the dedicated MEB platform, and producing between 125 kW and 221 kW with a claimed range of 320-603 km.

Speaking to Autocar at the Geneva Motor Show this week, Welsch remarked that the Beetle, on sale since 2011, had run its course and that "two or three generations is enough now", further adding that it was "made with history in mind but you can't do it five times and have a new new new Beetle".

"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," Welsch said in reference to the all-electric ID Buzz microbus heading for production in 2021/2022.

"With MEB, 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. 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".

The discontinuing of the Beetle comes months after the Wolfsburg giant announced that the new Jetta would only be sold in left-hand drive markets, with declining sales and surge in crossover/ SUV sales being touted as the main reasons.

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