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Volkswagen confirms Beetle will die in 2019


With its future having been in doubt since May last year, Volkswagen has now officially confirmed that production of the Beetle will come to an end after nearly 70 years in 2019.

Despite previous reports alleging that the Beetle could possibly return as part of the Wolfsburg automaker’s I.D. range of electric vehicles, a similar claim applying to the long since discontinued Scirocco, Volkswagen has released specification details of the aptly titled Final Edition, after the forum leaked a document, submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on September 11h, containing the model’s VIN.

The unveiling of the Final Edition therefore confirms comments made by Volkswagen R&D Head Frank Welsch at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, that the Beetle, which in its current guise had been on sale since 2011 using the same platform as the Golf V, had run its course.

“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 told Britain’s Autocar at the Swiss showpiece.

In what appears to be a strictly US market model, the Beetle Final Edition will be offered in both hardtop and cabriolet bodystyles based on the SE and SEL trim levels, with power coming from a 2.0 TSI petrol engine that develops 130kW/250Nm. Drive is send to the front wheels via a six-speed Tiptronic gearbox.

Setting itself apart from the regular Beetle, bespoke touches to the Final Edition consists of body coloured mirrors, Beetle badge on the decklid in the place of the regular Turbo logo and heated washer nozzles, while on the inside, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with Beetle badging, gloss black centre console, push-button start, three colour ambient lighting, stainless pedal and Safari Uni coloured dash rounds the changes off.

Model-wise, the SE comes outfitted with 15-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheel, Blind Spot Monitor and the 6.3-inch Composition Media infotainment system, while the SEL features bi-xenon headlight with daytime running LEDs, white 18-inch alloys, diamond stitched leather surfaces, the bigger Discover Pro infotainment system, LED fog lights and a premium Fender sound system.

Along with the standard issue Pure White, Deep Black Pearl and Platinum Grey paint finishes, the Final Edition will be offered in two unique hues; Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue, while a soft brown or Safari Uni finish can be had for the roof on the SEL cabriolet.

Including destination charge, pricing for the Final Edition starts at $23 940 (R354 827) for the SE hardtop and at $26 890 (R398 551) for the SEL, while the cabriolet retails from $28 190 (R417 819) for the SE and from $30 890 (R457 837) for the SEL. As mentioned though, don’t expect the Final Edition to find its way to South Africa.

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