Volkswagen CEO Claims VW Beetle Is Dead Forever, Won’t Come Back as an EV
Volkswagen may have just whipped out a concept inspired by Beetle-based kit cars, but its CEO swears it’s not bringing back the Beetle itself.
If there's one car that makes me happy to see on the roads every single time, it's a Beetle. Even though the New Beetle never quite captured all the love of its quirky predecessor, I loved that it existed anyway. Sadly, Volkswagen isn't on my peace, love, and Beetles train. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess told Motor Trend that the German automaker won't be reviving the Beetle again—not even as an electric.
Volkswagen has been having a good ol' retro time with its I.D. concepts, reviving both the beloved Bus with the I.D. Buzz as well as a dune buggy in the I.D. Buggy. But despite the fact that the Beetle was VW's most iconic car of all time, Diess says it's not on the list to bring back.
When asked if the Beetle was coming back as an electric car, Diess told Motor Trend:
No. You have to do something emotional, but I think we can't cover the historic lineup of Volkswagen with electric cars, and we shouldn't.
It's a clear change in heart and crushing news for many of us who are sad to see a Final Edition Beetle on sale this year, as Diess himself said that Volkswagen was considering an electric Beetle back in 2017. Yet Diess also reiterated to Motor Trend that the company's modular electric vehicle platform makes lower-volume, niche stuff easier to justify than ever.
You can do such derivatives probably easier this way than on conventional platforms. That basically made the ID Buzz possible because with that platform you have the flat battery so you have a lot of design freedom. You can do many very emotional vehicles easier.
The upside is that at least Diess confirmed the I.D. Buzz van is in the plans for 2022 (even for the U.S., where everything except the smallest I.D. hatchback will go on sale), and that the wild I.D. Buggy could also happen, telling Motor Trend:
This buggy is not yet production-ready, but it is an option. It is a possibility. We already have our important volume models in the pipeline, and a few months ago we decided on the electric bus, which adds an emotional but mono-volume-style car.
Diess explained to Motor Trend that VW is working with German electric car startup e.Go Mobile, who will build the I.D. Buggy, with an estimated production run somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 per year.
So, if your original Beetle love was actually a Meyers Manx, you might just get a future factory version that even Texas couldn't complain about. But if you fell in love with Herbie, or even New Herbie, Diess says you're out of luck—if you believe him.
Honestly, no matter what Diess says, it's hard for me to believe his statement that the Beetle is gone for good. Sooner or later, Diess may no longer be CEO, and Volkswagen may be in a sweet spot where it can tug at those nostalgic heartstrings once more. Perhaps there's another company like e.Go Mobile who would want in on a limited run of new New Beetles.
It wouldn't be hard, either, with VW's modular MEB electric platform underneath its I.D. cars making it easier than ever for VW to justify smaller production runs of cars. I'm just saying! Just throwing that out there! I know waffling back and forth about the things we want gets the press' attention, but just give us another Beetle, guys.