The compact Beetle was introduced in Germany in 1938 during the Nazi era and came to the U.S. 11 years later, where it became a symbol of utilitarian transportation often used by hippies. The iconic car sold for about 30 years before U.S. sales stopped in 1979. The last of the original bugs was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in 2003.
Volkswagen revived it in the U.S. in 1998 as a more modern “New Beetle,” but it attracted mainly female buyers. The company revamped it for the 2012 model year in an effort to make it appeal to men, giving it a flatter roof, less bulbous shape, a bigger trunk and a navigation system. U.S. sales rose fivefold to nearly 29,000 in the first year, but tailed off after that. Last year VW sold only 8,627, according to Autodata Corp.
The special editions, which come in coupe and convertible body styles, get unique beige and blue colours in addition to the normal hues. They also get standard extra chrome, new wheels and three-colour ambient lighting inside.