VW Dealer: 2010 Special Edition Marks the End of the Beetle as We Know It
BEDFORD, Mass. — Volkswagen's iconic Beetle is slated to be completely redesigned and overhauled and might not even carry the same name, Auto Remarketing learned Friday.
The new model will not start arriving at stores for about 18 months or so, Katie Shea, the business development coordinator for Minuteman Volkswagen in Bedford, Mass., told Auto Remarketing Friday.
"The New Beetle Final Edition will mark the last of Volkswagen's current generation of the iconic models as we know them today. The Final Editions (coupes and convertibles) will be limited in production to 1,500 units each," she explained to Auto Remarketing.
She went on to point out, "The New Beetle will be redesigned and revamped; it may carry the same name, but we don't yet know for sure. The (2010) Final Edition New Beetles will be the last of their kind as we've known how Beetles have looked. A replacement for New Beetles will arrive within the next 18 months or so."
Meanwhile, Tom Wegehaupt, spokesperson for VW, indicated to Auto Remarketing that the automaker isn't moving away from the Beetle idea, it is just looking to revamp the model "to appeal to a much broader auidence."
He confirmed that there isn't a new name as of yet for the new model, but given the emotions the New Beetle generates, that the new model will fall in along those lines.
He even indicated that he's seen some sketches of the new model and that he hopes that is the direction the company decides to go, as it is a very great take on the iconic model.
Basically, he said that the model tends to be seen as a quirky niche brand and the automaker is looking to become a volume player in the U.S. and have a march larger footprint.
In fact, the company will be introducing a compact sedan in the third quarter of this year and next year, the automaker will introduce a midsize sedan and new Beetle. None of these models have names yet.
First released in 1998, the 2010 New Beetles will end a 12-year stretch, which showed how VW's classic "Bug" appeal could carry into the 21st century, the dealership team highlighted. And apparently the automaker hopes to carry the idea behind this brand even further into the next decade with a new look.
To celebrate the final run, VW produced 3,000 New Beetle Final Edition coupes and convertibles in custom Aquaris Blue.
The coupe features a black roof, while the convertible's sides are in Campenella White, but both have individually numbered steering wheels and exterior badges highlighting their significance.
In fact, Minuteman VW just received a coupe No. 1467 and is expecting a New Beetle convertible as well.
"The VW Beetle has long been considered one of the definitive models in the history of American automotives. Back in 1998, I, like many other Americans who had grown up with Beetles everywhere on the streets, was overjoyed to see its return all across the U.S.," said Ray Hovsepian, general manager of Minuteman VW.
"It's been 12 years now, and while I'm sad to see it go, the New Beetle Final Edition is a fitting farewell to the rebirth of Volkswagen's signature car," he added.
Other features included in the Final Edition are a full sport suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels and fog lights that are integrated into the front bumper, as well as heated front seats, MP3-compatible CD player and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Performance-wise, this isn't your parents' VW Beetle, Hovsepian noted.
The New Beetle comes standard with the Electronic Stabilization Program, which is designed to ensure safe driving in a variety of conditions.
The 2.5 liter engine supplies 150 horsepower, yet still gets 29 mpg on the highway, and the six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic has the ability to change gears on its own.
"As iconic as it is, the Beetle won't always be around," Hovsepian concluded.