Volk­swa­gen set to phase out Bee­tle

The Punch - - TRANSPORT -

VOLK­SWA­GEN has an­nounced that one of its old iconic mod­els, the Bee­tle, is set for ex­ter­mi­na­tion, af­ter a long and sto­ried his­tory dat­ing back eight decades.

Speak­ing at the Geneva mo­tor show on Mon­day, VW’S Head of Re­search and De­sign, Frank Welsch, said that the pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the com­pany’s ID Buzz elec­tric con­cept– tak­ing cues from the Type 2 Trans­porter bet­ter known as the Mi­crobus – will wave the retro flag.

A pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the ID Buzz is slated for the 2022 model year, ac­cord­ing to the re­port by an on­line auto jour­nal, the­car­con­nec­tion.com.

It quotes Welsch as say­ing, “Two or three gen­er­a­tions is enough now” for the Bee­tle, adding that the car was “made with his­tory in mind but you can’t do it five times and have a new Bee­tle.”

The ID Buzz, an elec­tric res­ur­rec­tion of VW’S famed bus will fea­ture a rear-mounted en­gine and the same steer­ing wheel place­ment as the orig­i­nal to keep its retro styling au­then­tic. It’ll be up to con­sumers to de­cide if John lennon glasses, tie-dye shirts, and bell­bot­tom jeans will re­turn.

The Buzz will be part of the com­pany’s new ID fam­ily of cars that will also in­clude an al­l­elec­tric hatch­back and cross­over SUV.

It also says the VW will po­si­tion the Buzz to be the star of the ID lineup and to help the com­pany re­build its rep­u­ta­tion af­ter its mas­sive Diesel­gate emis­sions-cheat­ing scan­dal.

The VW stopped sell­ing the orig­i­nal Bee­tle in the United States in 1979 af­ter it failed to com­ply with safety and emis­sions stan­dards, al­though it was still built for global mar­kets for an­other quar­ter of a cen­tury.

The VW rode the retro-in­spired wave in 1998 with a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion it called the new Bee­tle. A third-gen­er­a­tion ar­rived in 2012 with a more ag­gres­sive style sporty coupe in­ten­tion, but sales never met the VW’S ex­pec­ta­tions.

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