It’s now or never ... go get ‘em!

19 Oct 2019 / 15:54 H.

By AZLAN RAMLI

TO the Ancient Egyptians, the Scarabaeus sacer, or the scarab beetle, is a symbol of renewal and rebirth. It was associated closely with the (mid-day) sun god Ra, because scarabs roll large balls of dung in which to lay their eggs – behaviour that the Egyptians thought resembled the progression of the sun through the sky from east to west.

The beetle’s young were hatched from this ball, and this event was seen by those Egyptians as an act of spontaneous self-creation, giving the beetle an even stronger association with the sun god’s creative force.

The connection between the beetle and the sun was so close that a young sun god was thought to be reborn in the form of a winged scarab beetle every morning at sunrise. As this young (morning) sun god, known as Khepri, rose in the sky, he brought light and life to the land.

Scarab amulets were used for their magical rejuvenating properties by both the living and the dead, and I weirdly see a very interesting parallel between that and me (the living), and the Volkswagen Beetle 1.2TSI Sport (the inanimate) I borrowed, again, recently.

For every single day throughout the week that I used this Volkswagen Passenger Car Malaysia’s (VPCM) media tester, I felt rejuvenated each time I’m about to drive it. Of course, it would be too much to say that I felt “reborn”; this sweet Habanero Orange had that effect on me, the same effect its three predecessors (same colours, different cars) had when I borrowed them for Hari Raya this year and the year before, and also the Blue Silk version in 2017.

Since the little coupe got its “Beetle” nameplate in the late 1950s and then rapidly rose in popularity worldwide, the Bug has always been about fun and freedom, where power and performance were secondary options.

A rejuvenating drive every time in the Beetle. This one along the rural roads of Negri Sembilan.
A rejuvenating drive every time in the Beetle. This one along the rural roads of Negri Sembilan.

Already feeling rejuvenated, my every drive in the Beetle takes things to the next level. Suddenly, my short commute became longer, where I decide to take detours after detours, making excuses as I go along, simply to spend more time in the Beetle.

Wherever my office, home or the meeting/motoring event I was headed to is, I never really cared about them. While destinations are of course absolute, in the Beetle each drive is absolutely enjoyable.

Each time I arrived at my destination, I felt refreshed, recharged, revitalised, psyched up and whatever other positive feelings one can think of. I couldn’t wait for the next drive, feeling slightly upbeat just at the thought of it (*sigh*).

Slow drives in the rural areas, fast ones on the highways or spirited ones on the quiet twisties, this Beetle, despite its modest 104hp, 1.2-litre turbocharged engine, is always a joy to drive. It looks good inside and out, mechanically enjoyable to drive and handle, and also makes YOU look and feel good.

Sadly, as you are aware by now, Volkswagen ended the Beetle’s super-long production run in July – with no next-generation model to be born, a la that morning sun god Kephri (which coincidentally sounds similar to kafer – German for beetle!).

And so, after one week of magically-rejuvenating enjoyment (the fourth time I had the pleasure of using the Beetle, thanks to VPCM), it was with much sadness that I parted company with the iconic People’s Car, for the final time.

Goodbye, Beetle.

After a glorious week, the Beetle is returned to VW Malaysia. This is at one of its authorised dealers’ warehouse, in Puchong.
After a glorious week, the Beetle is returned to VW Malaysia. This is at one of its authorised dealers’ warehouse, in Puchong.

Be quick – buy and/or win one!

DESPITE the Volswagen Beetle production ending in July this year, marked in Malaysia by Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) organising a big and colourful gathering in Putrajaya to bid farewell to the iconic Volkswagen on July 15, you can still buy a Beetle.

Ja, the Beetle can continue to be a joy for you, and a lot longer than what I went through, as there are still several dozen units available from VPCM’s authorised dealers throughout the country.

Be quick to own one of the last Beetles officially sold by Volkswagen in Malaysia. At RM153,095 (on-the-road, excluding insurance, for West Malaysia), it comes with a RM5,000 rebate, on top of a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, three-year free maintenance and five-year roadside assistance package.

You can also try to win one, instead of buying a Beetle – VPCM is giving away a brand-new Beetle in its “Win the Icon” Instagram contest, which is currently running till Nov 30.

The contest rides on Volkswagen’s tagline of “Better experienced than explained”, and you only need to test drive a Volkswagen model at any authorised dealership, document the experience in a one-minute video, and caption it creatively to participate.

The “Win the Icon” contest is open to all Malaysians with valid driver’s license.

Those interested to participate can follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Test drive any Volkswagen model at authorised dealers.

Step 2: Record a one-minute video of your experience and upload it on Instagram.

Make sure that the Instagram profile is set to public.

Step 3: Complete this slogan: “My #BetterExperiencedThan Explained story is...”.

Step 4: Follow and tag @VolkswagenMalaysia in the post.

The lucky winner will be announced in December.

$!It’s now or never ... go get ‘em!

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