No, it's not a late April Fool's joke or an Easter-week gimmick: A bunny is rejoining the Beetle in the Volkswagen menagerie.
VW said last week that it's bringing back the Rabbit name for its small car in the United States and Canada. The change takes effect for the fifth generation of the vehicle, which goes on sale this summer.
The move takes the name game full circle: VW launched the Rabbit in late 1974, but changed its name to Golf with a 1984 redesign. But VW concedes the Golf name - used by VW around the world - never caught on in North America.
VW spokesman Steve Keyes also said the Golf was overshadowed by the Jetta sedan and wagon. In 2005, VW sold 15,690 Golfs in the United States, compared with 104,063 Jettas.
In an ominous harbinger of future advertising cuteness, Keyes added: "We think we have some opportunities to do something creative with the Rabbit nameplate."
VW said last week that the 2006 Rabbit would have a base price of $15,620, including shipping, for the two-door hatchback. A four-door hatchback also will be offered.