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Old 14 September 2018, 07:14 PM
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Vanishing Volkswagen squashes the Beetle: End of the line for the iconic 'Bug'

After seven decades, the longest-running car in automotive history is about to disappear. Volkswagen will end production of its iconic Beetle by the end of the 2019 model-year, the German automaker announced Thursday.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/aut...ic-bug-n909591
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Old 14 September 2018, 07:36 PM
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This makes me sad. What will tomorrow's children use as an excuse for mild intersibling violence on road trips?
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Volkswagen announced last year that it will revive another once-legendary model, the Microbus, a hippie-era staple.
I hadn't heard that. That's something, I guess. Maybe when I have a nervous breakdown after too many 80-hour weeks and decide to ditch the law and go live in a van, there'll be a cool new model on the market that doesn't require more automotive know-how than I possess.
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Old 14 September 2018, 07:54 PM
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Strictly speaking they already did ditch it once (or twice even) - the "new ones" don't really count as the same car...
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Old 14 September 2018, 07:59 PM
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I thought they'd ended the original line in the late 80s, then came back in the early/mid 90s with the new look and a major marketing campaign to convince people that the car could be driven by people other than aging hippies.
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Old 14 September 2018, 08:16 PM
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I wanted to buy one of the new beetles, ideally a yellow one, and have flowers on it the way many have done. My husband had some issues with that for some reason.
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Old 14 September 2018, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Strictly speaking they already did ditch it once (or twice even) - the "new ones" don't really count as the same car...
Yeah, not to mention that the new ones are really nothing more than restyled Golfs.

I also take issue with this quote from the article, although I'm probably just being pedantic.

Quote:
When the final Beetle does run down the line it will have the distinction of being the longest-running nameplate in automotive history.
I don't think the old ones were ever officially called "Beetles"; that was just a nickname they picked up due to their shape. IIRC the official model name was something boring like Volkswagen 1300 or whatever the engine displacement was. Can a name that was never officially given to the car by its manufacturer (at least not until the new ones were introduced) and was simply a nickname really be called the "longest running nameplate"?
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Old 14 September 2018, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Strictly speaking they already did ditch it once (or twice even) - the "new ones" don't really count as the same car...
Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
I thought they'd ended the original line in the late 80s, then came back in the early/mid 90s with the new look and a major marketing campaign to convince people that the car could be driven by people other than aging hippies.
They were making the original type (although with standard updates seen with any car) in Mexico until at least 2004. This overlapped with the new Beetle based on the Golf, which started in the late 90s ('98 model year, '97 actual release). That one went away around 2010 and was replaced with the A5 Beetle. AIUI, that is the one that is actually going away at this point.

I would say that the Beetle in all its incarnations, including the new Beetle, is more consistent than a number of cars that retain the same name. The Chevy Camaro certainly has changed a heck of a lot more than the Beetle did, as did the Corvette. If you take a Mustang from each decade of the cars existence and sprinkled them among other muscle cars, most people couldn't identify them all as the same model without the actual mustang logo being visible. I think any year of the Beetle is clear that you are looking at a Beetle.
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Old 14 September 2018, 09:11 PM
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They moved the engine from one end to the other in the new ones, though - that's the kind of mechanical change that even I (as a rather non-mechanical person) would say makes it a different car! As far as I know, the Mustangs do all have basically the same layout, don't they? How many models of car are there where the position of the engine changes from one version to another?

(From playing computer driving games, I know there was a Group B rally version of the Renault 5 (Renault 5 Turbo) which was mid-engined rather than front-engined, but as Wikipedia says:

Quote:
Though it used a modified body from a standard Renault 5, and was badged a Renault 5, the mechanicals were radically different, the most obvious difference being rear-wheel drive and rear-mid-engined instead of the normal version's front-wheel drive and front-mounted engine.
So that's almost a different car as well, really. There can't be many examples...)
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Old 14 September 2018, 09:36 PM
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I guess it depends on what actual makes the car substantially different to someone. From a visual standpoint, I'd argue that the Beetle is about as consistent as it gets over time. There are certainly differences, sometimes large ones, but they still all look like a Beetle.

Mustangs have been built standard with I6, V6, or V8 engines, 1, 2, or 4 barrel carburetors, the Coyote engine, the Voodoo engine, the Aluminator engine, 2, 3, and 4 valve engines, and on and on. If the placement of the engine is more important than everything else, then OK, the Beetle has changed substantially. I wouldn't say that moving the engine from back to front is a bigger change than going from a straight 6 to a Coyote modular engine, though. At least not in terms of whether a car is the same or not from one model year to the next.
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Old 14 September 2018, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
How many models of car are there where the position of the engine changes from one version to another?
Rumor (with pictures) is that the 2020 Corvette will be mid_engined.

https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-car...e-2018-rumors/
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Old 14 September 2018, 10:03 PM
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I have really fond memories of the first incarnation of the Beetles.

That's what we always had when I was a child, because they were about the only thing available at the time that my mother could properly see out of (she was 5'2". In the 50's and 60's there were a lot of short women, and an occasional short man, peering awkwardly over the steering wheel of American cars trying to see where they were going.)

And I vividly remember, in the 1970's, driving through some very snowy back roads in a Beetle full of other women, and arriving successfully at the place we were headed for while a car of another make (I've forgotten which) full of a group of our friends, all men if I remember right (I have no idea now why all the women got in one car and all the men in the other, we didn't make a habit of that sort of thing), got there late because they'd had trouble getting their car through the snow. Nobody had front wheel drive; but we had our engine weight over the drive wheels.

And they got, for the time, good gas mileage*.

There are lots of other choices, now, for vehicles good in the snow, easy for short people to see out of (at least going forward, being able to see to back up without a camera seems to have gone entirely out of style), and/or with good gas mileage. And probably all of them are safer. But in its time, the original Beetle was a really great car.



*ETA to add very old joke, not adjusted for inflation:
"What's it now possible to do with a car that used to be impossible?"
"Put $10 worth of gas in my VW Beetle!"
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Old 14 September 2018, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
Yeah, not to mention that the new ones are really nothing more than restyled Golfs.

I also take issue with this quote from the article, although I'm probably just being pedantic.

I don't think the old ones were ever officially called "Beetles"; that was just a nickname they picked up due to their shape. IIRC the official model name was something boring like Volkswagen 1300 or whatever the engine displacement was. Can a name that was never officially given to the car by its manufacturer (at least not until the new ones were introduced) and was simply a nickname really be called the "longest running nameplate"?
I believe they were officially known as Beetles starting in the early 70s.
1970 ad referring to the Beetle

Last edited by smittykins; 14 September 2018 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 15 September 2018, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I wanted to buy one of the new beetles, ideally a yellow one, and have flowers on it the way many have done. My husband had some issues with that for some reason.
He's weak. Go full bouquet on him!
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  #14  
Old 16 September 2018, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
They were making the original type (although with standard updates seen with any car) in Mexico until at least 2004.
Until it was killed by GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS!!!!!eleventy!!!

...no, seriously. Apparently the majority of the ones being manufactured in Mexico were used as taxicabs. However, early in the 21st century, a new law came in saying that all taxis had to have four doors. So, that market went away.
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Old 16 September 2018, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
How many models of car are there where the position of the engine changes from one version to another?
I think the Porche 911 has had an engine position change in recent years from rear to mid.
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  #16  
Old 16 September 2018, 04:18 PM
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The 911 moniker is reserved for the rear engine models. Those that have shifted the engine to the center get a different model number.

Richard
944 owner
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Old 16 September 2018, 06:04 PM
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The 911 RSR is a mid engined car. But it is just a race car, not a purchaseable model.
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Old 16 September 2018, 10:12 PM
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I see. I missed the rather important 'track-only' part. (That's about all I know about sports cars: 'I read somewhere that...')
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Old 17 September 2018, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I don't think the old ones were ever officially called "Beetles"; that was just a nickname they picked up due to their shape. IIRC the official model name was something boring like Volkswagen 1300 or whatever the engine displacement was.
The original name was going to be "Kraft-durch-Freude-Wagen", apparently... ("Strength-through-joy Car").

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...tle-volkswagen

Quote:
It is telling that the Beetle and the Bug did not begin as brand names but were adopted by VW because that’s what the people who bought the cars called them. The Beetle really had become the people’s car.
A nice article that makes many of the same points we've already made, but officially and in a newspaper, thus validating us all! He's treating the "new Beatle" as essentially a different car too, but apparently most of the superlatives still apply even if you ignore those ones and only consider the originals. Ignore the miserable headline which I won't reproduce. His last line does seem unduly optimistic though, given the talk of "minimal human involvement" in the paragraph before:

Quote:
The Beetle has finally been killed off because, for better or worse, motoring in the future will be bug-free.
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Old 17 September 2018, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
The original name was going to be "Kraft-durch-Freude-Wagen", apparently... ("Strength-through-joy Car").

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...tle-volkswagen

The Beetle has finally been killed off because, for better or worse, motoring in the future will be bug-free.
Unfortunately in more ways than one:
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