2009 Los Angeles: Auf Wiedersehen, New Beetle

I was at the 1998 Detroit auto show specifically to say hello to the Volkswagen New Beetle. Today, I was able to bid it auf wiedersehen in Los Angeles.

2010 will be the last year for the first-generation New Beetle. Admittedly, it's time for the car to be ushered off the market. It may not have lingered here the three decades the original did, but after 12 years with nary a major overhaul, it's time for a replacement.

That replacement won't come until 2012, although it will likely reach showrooms sometime late in 2011. We've no idea if it will still carry the Beetle moniker, but Volkswagen says a replacement is waiting in the wings -- and yes, we're told it will be "Beetle-y," and "recognizable" as a Bug.

It'll be interesting to see how Volkswagen decides to update the aging retro design, but if you'd like to celebrate the last of the current car, run to your dealer and check out the 2010 Final Edition models. Limited to 3000 cars (1500 coupes and 1500 convertibles), each sports a light blue paint job and special emblems. The convertibles also gain an unusual two-tone paint job reminiscent of early Bugs.

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