The Volkswagen New Beetle launched with great fanfare over a decade ago, reviving the classic Beetle name from the company's history. Yesterday at the LA Auto Show, however, VW sent the car packing.
The company hosted a press conference where they announced that 2010 would be the car's final year. To commemorate the moment, VW released a "Final Edition" special model at the show, expected to sell only 3000 units in a unique paint scheme. Half of that number will be hardtop coupes while the other half will be convertibles.
While most of the vehicle is the same as the New Beetle you could have purchased over the last few years, this new edition comes with a sport suspension and unique 17-inch wheels. The hatchback will cost $20,240 while the convertible starts at $27,170.
The New Beetle launched in 1998 to incredible amounts of media and consumer attention. It caught (or, more likely, started) the wave of retro hype that automakers fixated on during the millenium. Cars like the Ford Thunderbird arrived on the scene hoping to curry the same favor that VW found with its new-age Beetle.
The next Beetle, likely to launch in 2011 as a 2012 model, is expected to shed its cutesy, happy-go-lucky design aesthetic in favor of a more aggressive look in concert with VW's Golf, with which it will share a platform.
The Beetle is dead, long live the Beetle!