The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic and beloved car that has stood the test of time.
Over time, Volkswagen has experimented with all aspects of Volkswagen Beetle design, but they’ve maintained its distinctive look for decades.
Now, as people daydream about simple, pre-pandemic life, the Beetle is enjoying another moment in the sun.
And while we all know and love the Beetle… the burning questions are: Is it coming back in an electric form? Hybrid? Fuel cell? Moreover, if so, then when?
Volkswagen Beetle Design: A Look Back in Time
The Early Years
The history of this vehicle begins with Ferdinand Porsche, who developed the Beetle’s rounded, compact design. The first edition of the “Bug” was produced in Germany in the 1930s, although the military primarily used the car in the early years.
VW put civilian production of the Bug on the back burner because of World War II. Then, when the war ended, Britain took over the factory, and they produced more than 10,000 cars by 1946. VW sold over a million units by the 1950s.
1959’s “Think Small” Beetle Campaign
The Bug’s small size was one of its main selling points. In 1959, copywriters at the DDB Agency in New York came up with a now-legendary ad that showed the tiny Beetle against a stark white background with the text “think small”.
“Think small” campaign was a wild success – the little car’s popularity grew all throughout the 60s.
VW Gets The Hollywood ‘Bug’
Heading into the 70s, Disney shined the spotlight on the car with its Herbie movie franchise. The Herbie vehicle had all the hallmarks of Volkswagen Beetle design along with a signature paint job (that wasn’t quite as eye-catching as this one).
Next, in 1971, VW produced the Super Beetle. This version had a forward trunk with more storage space than the previous model. In that same year, VW hit a landmark by producing more than 15 million Beetles – making the Bug the most-produced car of all time.
Beetle Gets A New Look
VW didn’t change the design of the Bug for more than six decades.
However, in 1994, they wowed crowds at the Detroit Auto Show with the Concept One. This car had the best of both worlds: the classic Volkswagen Beetle design that people knew and loved with a modern, sleek chassis. And THIS Beetle was originally conceived as an electric vehicle. (VW showing off the impressive vision of the future?)
And in 1998, consumers could own a newly-designed Beetle of their own. The newest version included a 115-hp, 2.0-liter engine.
Reaching the End of the Road
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Sadly, this applied to the Beetle, and VW announced that they’d produce the final models in 2019. They named the two models the Final Edition SE and the Final Edition SEL.
Is There A Future for the Beetle?
The trends of the past often resurface years later. Whether it’s clothing or cars, people love to celebrate the nostalgic styles of the past.
Despite reaching the end of its production run, the iconic Volkswagen Beetle Design lives on. It’s celebrated by the teens and young adults of today alongside “mom jeans” and the 90s-style bucket hats.
However, despite the popularity surge, VW hasn’t announced any plans to bring the model back. They’re currently focused on affordable, high-performance electric vehicles to meet the current demand for sustainable cars. However, even the former CEO of VW said “never say never” when asked about the future of the Beetle. So, who knows – maybe this beloved car will come back.
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