No, a new Volkswagen Beetle isn’t coming.
Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schafer told Autocar the Beetle is a “dead end” for the brand.
“It’s the same as Scirocco: it had its day, then there was a new model based on a reinterpretation,” Mr Schafer told Autocar.
“To do that again? I don’t think so. And going forward with balancing all these technologies and the cost that is associated with it, you’ve got to invest money in the best possible place.”
That’s despite Volkswagen leaning on its iconic Kombi for inspiration on the ID. Buzz, and a wave of retro electric cars sweeping Europe from the likes of Fiat, Renault, and Honda.
Volkswagen isn’t throwing all its iconic names out, however. The Golf and Tiguan badges will live on into the electric era, with Schafer pointing to a “little more than a handful” of names worth carrying forward.
“Would you do Scirocco or would you do Arteon? Probably not. That is part of our naming philosophy that we are now finalising,” he said.
Mr Schafer’s comments come on the back of a Beetle-ish Volkswagen showing up on a poster for Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir — The Movie.
In it the major characters are seen posing front of their vehicles, all from the Volkswagen brand. While the unnamed Beetle EV concept takes centre stage, there are also the ID. Buzz, ID. Crozz, and ID. Vizzion concepts in the background.
Internet users – including Paris Videostars, where we found these screenshots – subsequently spotted a real-life version of that Beetle concept on a Paris street outside a launch event for the first movie based on the Miraculous cartoon series.
It seems as though the car sitting on the Parisian street is just a design mock-up because the headlights and tail-lights are painted on, as are the doors and windows.
The original car, designed by Ferdinand Porsche and funded by the Nazi regime in Germany, went into production in 1938 with a rear-mounted four-cylinder boxer engine, but it didn’t become an icon or a sales success until after World War II.
While the two modern takes on the Beetle, launched in 1997 and 2010 respectively, aped the ladybug shape of the original, they were based on contemporary versions of the Golf. This meant they featured a transversely mounted engine up front driving the front wheels.