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I have just returned from Puebla, Mexico, where Volkswagen said with some gravity that they are finally discontinuing beetle production. This would probably have had more effect on me if (1) the Beetle died in 2004 in the last air-cooled and (2) Volkswagen announced the "Final Edition" Beetles of one kind or another an incredible one nine times. Yes, I do not think the Beetle 2019 Final Edition will be the end of Beetle production or just the end of Beetle production. It is, however, a nice equipment package.
(Full disclosure: Volkswagen flew me to Puebla in Mexico during the Dios de Muertos and Halloween to drive this Last Edition Beetle and see the VW factory. They fed me very well, but nobody would let me see the secret room of the prototypes I have in the factory. I also missed my wife's birthday, so I'll make it better.
Nine is a pretty big number when it comes to the number of times you've said they would finish everything, so at least I can list every time Volkswagen kills the bug. real Beetles and their born offspring:
These are many farewell parties. The Brazilian are interesting because the beetle production was discontinued in 1986, but in 1993 Brazilian President Itamar Franco has been asking Fusca a lot (as they call the beetle) comes back into production to meet the demand for very cheap and reliable cars in Brazil.
Forgive me, if I just do not buy, that this is the last Beetle that we will see from Volkswagen. I can not imagine a future that is not include some form of MQB-based electrical beetleIdeally with the engine in the back and a nice trunk in the front.
However, there is a milestone: this is the first time that Volkswagen has not produced a classic car bug or a modern car worldwide named as a Beetle. Even in the dark years between 1980 and 1997 in America, when there were no new beetles, many beetles were still being built around the world.
In that sense, I think, is this really a kind of definitive issue? At least for now.
How is it?
So, how is this Beetle of the Final Edition? Well, it's pretty similar to the born-again bug since 2011, which means today that it's a last-generation gulf that is more charismatic, if less practical.
Sure, there are some special things that VW has done to commemorate this last beetle – it's available in a couple of new colors, including a blue and a beige to highlight the blue and beige of the last air-cooled Ultima Edition Beetles of 2004 Expected White, Black and Gray, which I assume all cars will have to come under federal law.
You can get the Final Edition in two types of wheels, a 17-inch alloy with 15 spokes, if you're really stuck in spokes, or 18-inch wheels with a more retro-inspired design, based on whitewalls and the old chrome dog points. Dish hubcaps from Beetle over.
The interior is quite nice with some diamond shaped upholstery on the seats. They call it "rhombus pattern" in the lower fabric and imitation leather version, unlike the all-leather version, which is supposed to call the same shape "diamond", but I think the two-tone black and beige set is lower-spec Versions really look the best.
They've also added a "Beetle" badge on the back instead of the "Turbo" badge, even though this is one of the few cars that does not necessarily need a badge to know what it is.
Electro-goodies and Whatevers
In terms of equipment, the Last Edition now has a blind-angle monitoring system and a rear-view monitoring system, which is nice but hardly exciting. Speaking of electronic things, I'm still amazed that VW 2018 still somehow still uses low-resolution sub-game boy screens in its instrument cluster.
Where else do you find them? Even a crazy Versa has a little colored in-dash display. Are you just determined to empty the warehouse?
And to drive? What of it?
To drive, these bugs are basically ok, but that's about it. I know that the platform has the potential to be fun and inspiring because the Beetle GSR I drove was holy crap, five years ago – was a lot of fun.
However, these Load Editions are not available with a manual gearbox, and while the 2.0-liter inline-four gets off with 174 hp and 184 lb-ft of rotating torque, this is not really exciting driving.
The drive we took around Puebla was very busy and required us to keep up with a caravan of other beetles. This was more of a test of driving in heavy Mexican traffic while desperately trying not to lose the preceding car from you as a test of the car itself, but that's okay – that's a car I drove a lot.
I mean, it's basically alright, but there's an annoying delay between going down and the pace forward, and while the car is reasonably good at driving, with a pretty good feeling and some visceral communication from the road, it's by no means one sports cars.
It's good for what most people will use it for, and if you get the convertible, it's even better because you can open the roof and, you know, live.
But the whole meaning of these born-again beetles is everything in view. And in that sense, I like them. I think that the second generation of FWD's modern, golf-based beetles is even stronger than the first, and I really think they look great.
I think the hardtop is stronger than the convertible, but it's a great modern interpretation of the beetle, and if you just want it for the look, I think that's perfectly reasonable. It looks friendly and courageous and sporty and funny, all wonderful qualities in automotive design.
I believe these things
Overall, I believe Volkswagen is still not doing a reborn bug. It was okay for the first generation to position as a mid-sized, style-conscious nostalgia model Käferplatz is really at the end of the lineupwhere it can be a real car of the people.
I mean, look at what Fiat did with his nostalgic car, the 500, in America it worked well, though I had virtually no history in the US. I feel like I see a lot more 500s than second generation FWD beetles. The Beetle should not be a $ 23,000 to $ 30,000 car like this Final Edition. It should be one of the most charming, useful and cheap things you can get.
If anything, I would have preferred to have VW brutally and brutally dismantled this current Beetle (fabric seats, rubber mats instead of carpeting, unpainted bumpers, etc.) to have the final edition at a bargain price of $ 15,000 , That would have been in the true spirit of the beetle, far more so than with this party-clad last-generation gulf.
I guess I'm a bit sad that we're entering a time when VW does not even make a beetle-inspired car, but as history has shown, I'm not really worried the bug is really gone.
We have the new Microbus in 2022, and I'll bet there'll be an electron-eating beetle soon. And I hope that this time VW has learned a lesson and will bring this new new beetle into the lowest rung of the lineup, a place of great dignity where beetles have always thrived.
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