Saying goodbye to the Volkswagen Beetle

2019 volkswagen beetle and type 1

It’s hard to believe, but 2019 marks the last year of sales for the famed Volkswagen Beetle. In this blog post we take a quick peek through its 80-year history, as well as at the final official model to roll off the assembly line.  

original air cooled volkswagen beetle

Humble beginnings

Introduced in Germany in 1938, the original rear engine, air-cooled VW Bug was designed by Ferdinand Porsche who gave the model the immediately recognizable happy-looking front fascia and rounded body. Production stopped for a few years due to WWII breaking out, but operations eventually resumed and the car eventually found its way to North America in 1950.

herbie love bug

The Love Bug

Popularity of the Beetle soared during the 60s thanks to a growing small automobile movement and the release of Disney’s The Love Bug, a movie about an anthropomorphic Volkswagen racing Beetle named Herbie. The franchise would go on to spawn four additional films.

black volkswagen new beetle

Volkswagen New Beetle

The vehicle received a total redesign for the modern era in 1998, keeping a curvy shape but offering all the creature comforts of a Mark IV Golf upon which it was based. With the motor now at the front, two powertrains were initially available: a 2.0-litre gasoline and 1.9-litre turbo diesel. 

2012 volkswagen beetle

A5 Beetle

The third, and final, rendition of the Beetle appeared in 2011. The car emerged bigger both inside and out, with a flattened roof for a more performance-oriented appearance. A turbocharged mill mated to an initially optional six-speed manual transmission made for a pretty fun combination.

2019 volkswagen beetle final edition wheel

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition

The Final (Wolfsburg) Edition is the swan song for the Bug, featuring one of the most impressive equipment packages to date. For example a 174-horsepower 2.0-litre TSI engine, bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, special retro 18-inch alloy wheels and a 6.3-inch touchscreen display powered by the MIB II infotainment system. 

Browse all the trims of the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle here.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights