Here's the SUV that Volkswagen will build instead of the Beetle

With Volkswagen Beetle production wrapping up in Mexico, the automaker has confirmed the model that will fill its slot at the factory and in U.S. showrooms.

It’s a small SUV sold today in China as the Tharu. About the size of a Nissan Rogue Sport, it will be positioned in the VW lineup under the Tiguan.


It’s built on the same modular platform that just about every VW uses these days, including the Tiguan and Atlas, and will be reengineered to meet the safety standards and refinement expectations of U.S. customers. Specifications have not been revealed, but it is currently offered with a range of four-cylinder gasoline engines.


VW will sell it across North and South America, and it will be called the Tarek in some markets, but the model name for the U.S. has not yet been revealed.


Production is scheduled to begin next year at the Puebla, Mexico, facility ahead of the vehicle’s debut for the 2021 model year.

The Beetle name is being put on hiatus after more than 23 million were sold around the world across three generations. However, U.S. sales have been declining from a recent high of 43,000 in 2013 to just 14,000 last year.