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VW Sends Off the Beetle with Final Edition Coupes and Convertibles

© Car and Driver   VW pays tribute to the end of the air-cooled run with these Final Edition water-cooled Beetles.

By Davey G. Johnson, Car and Driver

We knew the end was nigh for the current Volkswagen Beetle, but VW has just announced the manner in which its most recent take on the venerable shape will bow out.

It comes in the form of the 2019 Beetle SE and SEL Final Editions, themselves informed by the Ultima Edición cars built for the Mexican market when the last air-cooled examples rolled off the Puebla assembly line in 2003. Like its characterful rear-engined forebears of 15 years ago, the Final Edition Beetle coupes will come in just two colors, Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue. These hues are a nod to the beige and light-blue colors spec'd for the Ultima Edición cars, as well as callbacks to the 2016 Beetle Denim and the New Beetle's Harvest Moon Beige. Opt for a convertible and the palette broadens to all current Beetle shades, save for Safari Uni. The cabriolets will also offer a brown softtop. 

Final Edition coupes receive chrome accents, body-color side mirrors, heated washer nozzles, and a sunroof, while SELs add xenon headlights and LED DRLs, LED taillights, and fog lights. The SE cars will roll on 17-inch, 15-spoke aluminum wheels, and SELs receive 18-inch white aluminum wheels with chrome hubcaps meant to evoke the air-cooled Beetle's old steelies.

Under the hood, all Final Edition cars feature VW's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, tuned for 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and rated by the EPA to travel 26 miles per gallon of gasoline in the city, 33 on the highway, and 29 combined. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available.

© Car and Driver   2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition interior

Inside, the Final Edition Beetles get special interior appointments consisting of cloth and leatherette with rhomboid seat embroidery on the SE and diamond-stitched leather on the SEL. All models get a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and pushbutton start, automatic climate control, a gloss-black center console, a Safari Uni–colored dash pad, and three-color ambient lighting. The SE gets a 6.3-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, a USB port, SiriusXM radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the SEL gets a more capable infotainment system with built-in navigation.

Production of the Beetle is set to end at the Puebla factory in July 2019, bringing what some at VW feel is but a temporary end to the seminal nameplate's run. With VW focused on becoming more of a mainstream player in the U.S. market with vehicles such as the Tiguan and Atlas SUVs, there's little time for funky niche products. But according to Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Hinrich Woebcken, "There are no immediate plans to replace [the Beetle]. But as we have seen with the I.D. BUZZ-which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus-I would also say, 'Never say never.'" Which likely means that the next time we see a revived Beetle on our shores, it'll carry an electric powertrain.

© Car and Driver   2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition rear

Final Edition coupes start at $23,940 for the SE model and $26,890 for the SEL, while the SE convertible will begin at $28,190 and the SEL convertible starts at $30,890.

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Unplugged Magazine: VW Sends Off the Beetle with Final Edition Coupes and Convertibles
VW Sends Off the Beetle with Final Edition Coupes and Convertibles
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