• Apr 11, 2006
No, really. Volkswagen announced Tuesday that the U.S.- and Canadian-market Golf will be renamed the Rabbit. The bunny's first official debut will be at the New York International Auto Show Wednesday (just in time for Easter!), although the 2006 Rabbit debuted as the fifth-generation Golf at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year.

Volkswagen's Director of Brand Innovation, Kerri Martin, said, “The reintroduction of the Rabbit represents Volkswagen’s commitment to this market and is a nod to the passionate North American enthusiasts who have an emotional connection with the Rabbit name.”

Maybe we'll see the Thing return, too.

[Source: Volkswagen] Thanks to Peter and Josh for the tip!


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, the original Rabbit does have a pretty "rabbid" fan base. Quite a few sports car enthusiasts welcomed a tiny, nimble, sub-2,000 lb car in a world where many low-priced cars were heavy sleds like the Plymouth Volare. Rabbits are still viewed as a good choice for a first race car if you want to get into road racing.

      Unfortunately, the new Rabbit sounds like it's more likely to tick off fans of the old one than appeal to them. At around 3,000 lbs, it doesn't have the old Rabbit's key ingredient at all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wallace and Gromit are gonna be hunting these cars down....
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM and Ford aren't doing too well, and they rebadge cars.
      Looks like VW wants to join the fun.

      Headline of tomorrow: VW Reports $4 Billion in Losses
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a most odd decision. Of all the things they could do to serve the American market, this is what we get?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Emotional associations? Heh. I owned a '76 Rabbit, my first new car. Worst POS ever- something went wrong with that barely assembled bucket of parts about every other week. I vowed never, ever to buy a VW ever again- that's my emotional association with the Rabbit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This just goes to prove....

      A.) next to lawyers, auto marketing people are scum

      B.) you ask enough people a stupid question and you
      will get the answer you want.

      The Honda Civic hit the American market in 1973, the Rabbit in 1975. VW decided they needed to change BACK to the Golf name when the 2nd gen. of the Golf arrived in the U.S. Now, when the 5th gen. car is only a shadow of it's former self, they decide to resurrect the Rabbit name. Can anyone even remember the last time they saw a Rabbit? They have nearly all rusted into oblivion. Why follow GM by resurrecting an "old" name?
      • 8 Years Ago

      OH THIS will JUST FIX EVERYTHING for VW! Never MIND the quality problems...

      I thought Vw's whole problem in the late 1970 was they did a bad job "Americanizing" their cars as opposed to keeping them German. Now here we go again. The new Passat is a GREAT example. Now it drives and kinda looks like a Buick! Kool!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Amen! Bring back the Thing!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just keep it cheap...
      • 8 Years Ago
      #24, while you may be nostalgic for the 2000lb 75hp Rabbit, it is never coming back. The need for safety in the era of SUVs, and the need for refinement at even the base level models assures us that. Even the 2-door Yaris weighs 2300 lbs. Rabbit/Golf is a full size up from that (Polo being the equivalent). At 3000lbs and 150hp, the new Rabbit is actually a lot faster in absolute terms, but in relative terms it may be knocked in this forum for being "too slow" (never mind the 170ft. lbs. of torque).
      • 8 Years Ago
      ... a nod to the passionate North American enthusiasts who have an emotional connection with the Rabbit name.

      Huh? who is this one person who has fond memories of the rabbit?

      First they create (and then kill) the Phaeton at one end of the spectrum, now they are bringing back the car that probably gives VW the worst possible, cheapo image at the other end of the spectrum.

      Hey maybe Ford can bring back the Pinto.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Great idea!

      The Rabbit was a good name and when it was changed to Golf in the U.S., it made no sense.

      I think there are mutiple meanings to "Golf" in Germany--the game of golf, of course, and also GULF. What's so great about calling any car the "Gulf?"

      Every time I saw the car or read about it, I thought of the game of golf which I think is a great way to ruin a good walk.

      VW is smart to revive a name that always made more sense.

      And to announce the return of the RABBIT at Easter Bunny time is especially thoughtful.

      Happy Easter and Passover!

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