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VW R&D Boss Confirms Beetle To Die After Current Generation

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Beetle won't get another generation and will instead be replaced by two other forthcoming models

After a string of special editions that included the #PinkBeetle and Dune models, Volkswagen is calling it quits with the Beetle after the current-generation car runs its course. That's the word from Volkswagen's R&D boss Frank Welsch, who spoke to Britain's Autocar at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show. According to Welsch, the Beetle will be replaced by two models: a production version of the I.D. Buzz will fill the retro slot in Volkswagen's lineup, while the T-Roc will be the brand's convertible.

The R&D head said the Beetle has run its course. "Two or three generations is enough now" for the Beetle, he told Autocar. Volkswagen reintroduced the Beetle—then called the New Beetle—in 1997 as a cheery, retro-inspired compact with a flower vase built into its dash to leverage its hippy cred. It was redesigned in 2011 to give it a more aggressive, Porsche-like look, but sales didn't materialize for the two-door hatchback. It remains on the former Golf platform. The T-Roc will arrive in the U.S. sometime next year. The wait for the I.D. Buzz will be a bit longer—likely 2021 or 2022.

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The T-Roc will make full use of Volkswagen's MQB front-wheel-drive platform that underpins nearly every other car in the brand's lineup. The crossover is also better placed to be a sales success as Americans shy away from cars toward SUVs and other high-riding vehicles. It's fully expected to get a convertible variant sometime after it launches next year. Further in the future, the I.D. Buzz will arrive on another new platform Volkswagen has developed for its future electric vehicles. Welsch told Autocar it's the perfect base for the model as it allows the Type 2 homage to keep its original proportions. The MQB platform would have forced it to be a FWD model, while the Type 2 was rear-engined and RWD.