Far be it from us to compare the Volkswagen Beetle to any old bug, but despite the company’s attempts to stomp on it for good, it might still have life left in it.
The Beetle is only produced in Mexico, as was the previous-generation “New Beetle.” If you want to feel old, remember that the New Beetle was first shown in more or less production-ready form in Tokyo all the way back in 1995: there have been front-engine, Golf-based Beetles for longer than it took for VW to bring back the name after the last German-built air-cooled classic was made in 1978. The original rear-engined Beetle was produced in Mexico until 2003, and the famous Mexico City taxi Beetles remained in duty until 2012.
Earlier this month, VW’s R&D director Frank Welsch stated that the upcoming electric microbus, the I.D. Buzz, would be Volkswagen’s heritage model instead of the aging Beetle, and that the Beetle would not get a successor this time. According to Welsch, making countless new generations of the Beetle would not be right. “You can’t do it five times and have a new new new Beetle,” he said. While Volkswagen could still feasibly bring the Beetle back when the original car turns 100 years old, it’s time for the electric bus to shine. But it looks like they’ll still make a few Beetles for the sake of it.