The Volkswagen Beetle is taking a bow, after its return and restyle in 2011 (and earlier rebirth in 1997 — the one with the built-in flower vase). The last of the most recent generation of Beetles has already come off the production line, and will be put on display at the Volkswagen museum in Puebla near the plant that produced it.
Volkswagen’s 2011 Beetle redesign did away with much of the hippy throw-back appeal of the 1998 model year New Beetle, though it kept many of its curves and vaguely bug-like look that earned it its name to begin with. The U.S. run of the original Beetle ended in 1979, so it was nearly 20 years before it got its second life — and it’s been 21 years now that both revised versions have been on sale.
Last year, VW announced its intent to end production of the car in 2019, so it’s not catching anyone by surprise. As for whether a resurrection is in the cards down the road, the jury’s still out — VW didn’t rule out the possibility when it announced the end of the line, but it also didn’t commit to anything. Meanwhile, the automaker is refocusing many of its efforts to its new electric vehicle platform, which will provide the basis for its I.D. line of vehicles.
Today’s been a day for oddball things that nevertheless had ardent fans coming to an end. Bye bye, little Beetle.