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Discussion in 'Auto News' started by R1600Turbo, Sep 13, 2018.
This is disappointing but not surprising. Americans are buying fewer and fewer sedans and coupes. We just want SUVs and crossovers now. There just aren't enough sales outside the US to justify it's existence any more.
Ah... they're including the ones in Mexico.
And Germany, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia.
Mexico was the last to make the old school version.
That's a real shame, since the rest of VW's lineup looks like rejected design proposals of the things they were selling a decade ago.
For cars(not including trucks, SUVs), this just leaves the SL(1954- ), Corvette(1953- ), Mini/MINI(1959- ), as the oldest continuing name plates. Falcon(1960-2016) could have been on that list.
However, in the history of the automobile, F-Series, Land Cruiser and Suburban names, will most likely outlive all other vehicles, the world over.
Toyota Crown 1955 - Present
Although the Landcruiser Predates it by model Code, the Crown was the First official Toyota to have an actual name.
Nissan Skyline 1957 - Present
For me the Beetle's production was already stopped in 2003. I don't actually consider the modern Beetle to be a Beetle in anyway other than a shape similarity.
The car would of sold better as a 911, stripped of everything of value and given a golf engine.
at least then it would make sense as a concept.
Kind of makes sense. Not sure where they would have gone styling-wise.
Too bad though, I kind of like the new ones.
It's a shame as they really nailed the design with the current generation one.
I guess it's too much of a love it or hate it car to be financially viable, you don't see that many around. Also the rise of bigger cars / small SUV's would have played a part because despite its size it isn't exactly practical.
Once everyone had grown tired of the New Beetle's retro styling, you were left with a less practical Golf. These days you can have Golfs, or Golf-based alternatives, in all sorts of flavours. Golf or A3 cabs, touren, Q3, Karoq or Ateca SUV/crossovers, Golf, Octavia or Leon wagons and if they're all too practical, the Scirocco. The retro Beetle is old hat now, I can totally understand why it's been dropped.
I can understand why it's been dropped certainly (though the Scirocco was too, a few years ago now), but that doesn't make it any less of a shame.
The Golf-sized portfolio in the VW Group is now just a bunch of hatchbacks and SUVs, plus the lone Audi TT. The Scirocco and Beetle were further colour in that segment and can't have been particularly expensive to manufacture (though both did sit on the pre-MQB platform, so they were getting on a bit*).
Liked the outgoing Beetle from the start. It was interesting to me as I drove it on the UK launch alongside the then-new VW Up and a classic 1977 Beetle too, and the basic Up did feel conceptually closer to the classic Beetle than the new Beetle did.
For me the Beetle was a car with many of the talents of a Golf but without being depressingly dull like a Golf, which had to count for something. The styling was a much better take on the theme than the New Beetle was (more than once I've done a double-take seeing a Beetle go past and mistaking it for the classic), the interior was more interesting than a Golf, and it still for me had one of the greatest alloy wheel designs on any modern car.
It's particularly convincing in that black with those wheels - had a real 50s vibe to it. In some ways it's a shame they didn't go even further down the retro path - revive a classic Beetle typeface for the instruments, use the old Wolfsburg crest rather than the VW badge, trim the interior in grey tweed, that kinda thing.
The VW Group portfolio is certainly a lot less interesting without the Beetle and Scirocco in it. Thank god for the Up.
* Having driven a few Beetles and Sciroccos over the last few years, they honestly don't feel that different to the MQB stuff. VW's products are evolving so incrementally that you have to go back 15 years before anything other than the satnav starts to feel particularly different...
I agree. A Beetle should have always been an inexpesinsive small car that has a rear mounted aircooled engine. Also, the new "Beetle" is really not the same car as the the original because VW never originally named the car Beetle. It was just a nickname. The car was just supposed to be the "Volkswagen". The car's model name was designated the name Type 1 to differentiate it from the VW Type 2, Type 3, etc. The brand only started calling it the Beetle officialy in the early 1970s.
Also, the VW Beetle IS the most successful car off all time. Yes cars like the Golf, Corolla, and F-Series have sold millions more. But the 21.5 million Volkswagen Type 1s that were built from 1938-2003 are all based on the same design platform. It's the most produced car in history of a single design. The other cars mentioned have 7 or more generations and basically are differnet cars from eachother. The Beetle just evolved, and that is why I love the car so much. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche got the design right the first time. The car was ahead of it's time. It was rigid, economicle, reliable, and comfortable. Yes the early cars had TONS of flaws. But VW ironed them out over time. And instead of redesigning the car or replacing it with a new model year after year, VW only changed the car subtly only to make it work better (VW's slogan back in the day). I doubt you will never see a car built in the 2080s that was designed in the 2010s. The Beetle is what made Volkswagen, Volkswagen. And although I don't favor the newer Beetles as much as the classic ones, It's such a shame that VW would rid of their most important, iconic, and flagship model in history. R.I.P Beetle.
It can't have helped that it just didn't have the customisation aspect that seems to make the MINI and 500s so popular.
I much prefer the rakish design of this outgoing Beetle to the New Beetle, but the detailing such as the front air dam never looked appealing to my eyes. It could've done with something a lot more characterful.
For the USA, now that the Beetle is leaving, I can safely say VW has one of the most depressing lineups out of any car company. My mom owns a '17 Passat, and compared to a new Accord for the same exact price (I've ridden in both before), it' not even close to competitive. The new Jetta is even more blob-ish and lifeless than the previous model, and I wouldn't be at all shocked if there's no GLI model upcoming. I also wouldn't be surprised if the entire Golf range in America will be discontinued within the next five to seven years.
Speaking of the 500, I wonder if the retro thing will eventually wane with that as well because it's still selling like hot cakes and has done extraordinarily well in a way the modern Beetles never really did.
It has just as much if not more competition than the Beetle and I would say doesn't have as much personality and heritage yet has been a real winner, I do wonder why.
It might be as @VXR touched upon that the Beetle didn't have as much of the personalisation as the 500 does. Even in the early 00's the new Mini's had lots of customisation but VW oddly didn't go with that direction, they gave you a dashboard vase and that was about it! Seeing how much Beetle owners like to add their own personal aftermarket touches that was a bit of a mistake.
I never liked the modern retro-styled Golf Beetle. The latest model was not that bad though.
I would choose a Fiat 500 over the Beetle anytime.
My first thought would be pricing.
A basic Fiat 500 is <£12k at the moment (they were under £10k when it first arrived) and a MINI <£16k (I think they started at <£11k when the BMW MINI first arrived in 2001). A basic Beetle is nearly £18k, and while it was last of the trio to arrive so naturally looks a bit more on inflation alone, and while the Beetle has also always been slightly cheaper than the equivalent-engined Golf, it does sit in an awkward limbo between being cheeky and affordable and customers being able to buy a "proper" car instead for only slightly more money.
I definitely think the 500's fairly low price helps it. £12k doesn't get you much these days, and most other stuff at that price range is pretty depressing. I'm a big fan of the VW Up/Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii trio, but you can't deny that the Fiat has a whole lot more personality than those kind of cars, and it's pretty much cornered the market for "cute" - the MINI just looks goofy these days and the Beetle almost too sophisticated.
The 500's been going strong for 11 years now - they've made over 2 million from what I can see, so they've averaged about 180k+ a year. Small beans compared to some models, but not bad for a car with a fairly strong personality (compared to say a Fiesta, designed to safely appeal to most of the people most of the time).
The classic shapes of the 500 and the Mini still work with contemporary hatchback designs, meaning they provide the style aspect with almost the same degree of practicality. There's little you compromise when you buy one over anything else in the segment. The Beetles dome on a dome shape is so out of kilter with what every other hatch or saloon of that size that it just doesn't have anything like the levels of practicality that the 'competition' had to offer.
Was the Skyline name stopped with the R34 and then restarted with the G35?
Edit: About the practicality, the MINI(base 3 door) is pretty useless. Even though the Beetle had basically no boot space, the 500 and Mini sure pretty small. I moved a 6' fridge with my old Charade(that model is named a Van in Japan by the way) . I doubt those three can copy that.
Still, for what the 500 and MINI are, the Beetle lost a bit for being bigger with no advantage in useable space.
Not restarted, it is a Skyline. Remember not all Skylines before used the R designation.
The G35 came out in North America a full year after it was released in Japan as a Skyline.
I know they're Skylines. Thought once the R34 went out of production, the name was dropped and there was a couple years gap between it and the V series cars. All good.
I'm not entirely sure practicality is behind it, though certainly anyone on the fence looking at a Golf as well as the Beetle would probably notice that. Neither the 500 nor the MINI is overly practical - both are tight on rear passenger space and boot volume - so I think practicality can certainly be overlooked by customers in this weird retro market.
Incidentally, as more and more niche vehicles are offered I do wish manufacturers would sacrifice practicality a little more often to improve the styling of cars. Both the recent Hyundai i30 Fastback and just-announced Kia Proceed are visually compromised because although both are attempts at the "four-door coupe" thing, both have tried to maintain the same headroom and luggage volume as the regular cars. A sloping roofline only really works if you let it slope enough. If VW had played the same trick it'd have ruined the car's profile.
Even though the current car is 74 feet long?
Marginally more than a Golf, similar to a Scirocco. Coupes tend to be a little longer than conventional hatchbacks.
To drive I'd actually say it feels a little smaller. The windscreen is upright and the cabin is narrower which I think contribute. As far as parking goes everything has backup cameras these days anyway so the extra length isn't a big issue.
Unless you need the boot space, but then that's what the Golf is for. The Beetle's very much about the looks (like the 500 and Mini) and people are either gonna get that or they aren't.
Part of me wishes they'd based the Beetle on a smaller platform though and gone head-to-head with the 500. I think it might have been really difficult to package had that been the case (crash test requirements etc mean you need to put certain hard points in certain places and that becomes tricky in a smaller car without affecting the shape) but it might have brought the price down a bit.
I meant the current Mini.
Ah. Well that's not really that big either - it's under 4 metres, which actually makes it kinda small for the class - the Fiesta, Clio, 208, Polo, and probably others are bigger. I mean, they're huge too compared to how they were a decade or two ago, but the Mini is one of the less-big ones.
Fun fact: It's also shorter than a classic Beetle.
The TT was close enough and that did well. I'd say, if the RSI Beetle had been marketed in the USA, that might have helped. Replaced with the 1.8T in that package and it might have given it street cred.
I was in the VW scene during the VR6 conversion craze. Once that Audi 1.8T got chipped from 180hp to 225hp for $500, it was game over for the VR6(other than it being phased out anyway).
The fwd Beetle turbo version, I guess it didn't hit the mark with those ads. Should have been the poorer man's Porsche Carrera 4S or TT Quattro.