Put away the tissues, the Volkswagen Beetle isn’t getting deep-sixed after all

A few weeks ago, industry rumors claimed that Volkswagen had decided to kill the Beetle after the current model’s production run in a bid to save money by reducing the amount of parts it needs to build each year.

Speaking on the sidelines of the New York Motor Show, Volkswagen executive Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser shot down the rumors and announced that the next-gen Beetle will be introduced in 2018 at the very latest, indicating that development work is already under way in Wolfsburg.

Neusser confirmed that the next Beetle will ride on Volkswagen’s modular MQB platform, a move that will allow it to weigh considerably less than the current model. It will remain one of Volkswagen’s most evocative models but it will adopt a new design language that will be noticeably more emotional and more dynamic. That said, the bulk of the heritage-laced styling cues that have characterized Volkswagen’s reborn Beetle since its launch in 1998 will be found on the new car.

The executive also pointed out that building the Beetle on the MQB platform will make it possible for the retro-inspired icon to go electric, though he did not specify whether it will get a plug-in hybrid drivetrain or a full electric drivetrain. Buyers who prefer to burn strictly dino juice will be able to order the next Beetle with three- and four-cylinder gasoline- and diesel-burning engines sourced directly from the Volkswagen parts bin.

Additional details about the next Volkswagen Beetle will emerge over the coming months. If it’s introduced in 2018, it will most likely go on sale across the nation in time for the 2019 model year.

What’s next?
Volkswagen has discreetly confirmed plans to build the Beetle Dune concept (pictured) that was presented at last year’s Detroit Motor show. Like the show car, the production model will get a rugged, allroad-like look with plastic trim over the wheel arches and the rocker panels, more aggressive bumpers on both ends and a slightly raised ground clearance.


Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford posted an enigmatic picture of a blue Mustang emblem on a black background right as Tesla prepared to introduce the Model Y. Is the Blue Oval teasing a hybrid Mustang, or is it previewing a Mustang-inspired, battery-powered crossover?

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.

Sibling rivalry: The Tesla Model Y takes on the Tesla Model 3

Tesla expanded its lineup with a fourth car named Model Y. It's an electric crossover positioned as a more spacious alternative to the Model 3. The two cars share about 75 percent of their components, but they're aimed at different buyers.

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.

Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.