Volkswagen Beetle bows out with ‘Classic’ edition

Volkswagen Beetle

Australia will be one of the first markets to say a second farewell to the iconic Beetle.

FOR the second time in its career, the Volkswagen Beetle will be no more. Even though production of the front-drive, Mk6 Golf-based Beetle will continue in VW’s Mexican plant (for the time being) to satisfy the US market, the rest of the world is preparing to bid farewell to a car it never really bonded with. And Australia will be among the first to say goodbye.

Volkswagen -Polo -BeatsLimited to an individually numbered build of just 53 units (a nod to Volkswagen’s Australian debut in 1953) and on sale in September for $37K drive-away, our last Beetle will feature a gold cabin badge marked ‘The Beetle Classic – Final Edition’, as well as black ‘steel-look’ 17-inch wheels with chrome centre caps, black ‘Beetle’ side decals, a black roof, a white-only colour scheme and checked seat trim among its cache of ‘classic’ design cues seemingly channelling the Superbugs of the 1970s.

Volkswagen -Touareg -Wolfsburg -EditionTechnology-wise, however, the Beetle Classic will be anything but. With bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, Volkswagen’s latest multimedia set-up and a 118kW/240Nm ‘twin-charged’ 1.4, the final Beetle should have enough software sparkle to please a generation of tech-savvy buyers who weren’t born when Volkswagen’s original rear-engined, air-cooled Beetle ended Australian production in 1976.

Volkswagen revived the Beetle’s iconic design when the ‘New’ Beetle launched here in January 2000, but even in its best year – the first 12 months – the modern Beetle shifted a modest 1328 units, compared with the original Beetle’s 1960 sales record of 24,388. And it was downhill from there, with the New Beetle breaking the 1000-unit mark just once in the last 15 years (1043 units in 2005, bolstered by the launch of the Cabriolet). There’s been a similar level of disinterest across the globe.

Volkswagen -Scirocco -WolfsburgJoining the Beetle Classic Edition from September will be a bunch of other special-edition Volkswagens, starting with the Polo Beats ($21,990-$24,490). Based on the 81TSI Comfortline, the Polo Beats ties in with the whole Dr Dre Beats audio line, offering you not only a pumped-up sound system, but also some Dr Dre headphones, trick-looking seat trim, a choice of three two-tone exterior colour combos and 16-inch alloys. It’ll sit beside the Touareg Wolfsburg ($87,990), sporting black 20s and diamond-stitched Nappa leather trim, among other goodies.

But it’s the Scirocco R Wolfsburg we’re most looking forward to. Another last-of-the-line model for Australia and capped at 150 units, the final Scirocco goes on sale in November in manual ($49,490) and DSG ($51,990) forms. Wearing either Oryx White pearl or Rising Blue paint, each garnished with black 19-inch ‘Lugarno’ alloys and winged-back, race-style bucket seats, the last Scirocco promises to be the best of a model line we’ll miss immensely.

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