volkswagen has announced that 2019 will be the end of the road for the iconic beetle, with the latest version leaving production next year at the company's puebla, mexico, manufacturing plant. the move toward family-oriented and electrified vehicles across the board is one of the reasons given by the company for dropping the beetle, but the company would not say that it might not make a return someday. hinrich j. woebcken, president and ceo of volkswagen group of america, inc., pointed to the upcoming i.d. buzz electric minivan as inspiration of this possibility, with the i.d. buzz coming across as heavily inspired by the classic vw microbus.
before the beetle ends production, however, one last special edition will be produced: the beetle final edition. available in both coupe or convertible form, either in se or the more luxuriously equipped sel trim, the final edition will offer up some paint, trim and wheel choices that are inspired by the mexican 2003 beetle ultima edicion version that was the long-running original beetle's final trim.
on the outside
on the outside, two special paints have been introduced for the final edition: safari uni (beige) and stonewashed blue, which first appeared on the 2016 beetle denim edition. you can also choose from pure white, deep black pearl or platinum grey. a unique brown convertible top can be had on any of the final edition convertibles except, curiously, for the beige one.
final edition se coupe models get body-color mirrors, heated washer nozzles (both standard on the convertible already) plus a sunroof. the sel models add foglights, bi-xenon headlights, and led running lights and taillights, while all models see the "turbo" badge on the tailgate replaced by a "beetle" badge. two different wheel designs will be included - a 15-spoke, 17-inch design for the se, and a white-trimmed 18-inch disc design for the sel models.
on the inside
all final edition models get keyless access with push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, automatic climate control, three-color ambient lighting and a gloss black center console. a unique safari uni dashpad and glove box trim is also included. the final edition se models get cloth-and-leatherette seat trim, while the sel models get diamond-stitched leather seating surfaces with leatherette trim.
tech and safety
on the electronics front, the composition media unit with its 6.3-inch touchscreen is standard, including a single usb port, bluetooth connectivity, three months of free satellite radio, voice control and smartphone integration. the sel trim upgrades to the discover media unit that includes navigation, vw's concierge service and a fender-branded premium sound system. a variety of driver assistance and safety systems will be offered for all models, including standard blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert, while sel models add front and rear parking sensors.
powertrain and pricing
the only powertrain available in the beetle final edition is a standard 174-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder used engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. vw did not specify when the cars will go on sale, only that production is set to end in july 2019.
the 2019 final edition coupe starts at $23,940 for the se model, $26,890 for the sel model. the convertible will start at $28,190 for the se and $30,890 for the sel. all prices include destination fees.
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