New Volkswagen Beetle to go all-electric
New zero-emissions Beetle would be based on same underpinnings as VW's upcoming ID electric hatchback and should have range of at least 250 miles...
The current two-door Beetle has been on sale since 2011 and production is due to end next year. Originally, it was thought that the current Beetle wouldn't be replaced – indeed, VW officials confirmed as much earlier this year – but now our sister title Autocar reports that plans are in place to resurrect the Beetle name.
Saving the Beetle is thought to have been made possible because of VW's ID electric hatchback, which was first shown in concept form in 2016 and is due to go on sale at the beginning of 2020. The ID sits on a new platform called MEB and it's this innovation that's key to bringing back the Beetle. In particular, the flexibility of the MEB platform means that VW could offer more space and comfort than today's Beetle while retaining its retro styling.
The ID hatchback is powered by a 168bhp electric motor and should be capable of travellling 250-370 miles depending on variant – meaning the Beetle should be capable of at least the same, since it would be likely to use the same electric motor set-up.
VW is said to be keen to introduce a range of more 'emotional' models to sit alongside its current offerings and, given the worldwide recognition of the Beetle name, it's understood to be a top contender. It won't be the first of the new 'emotional' cars to arrive, though – that title goes to the all-electric ID Buzz Microbus, which will go on sale in 2022 and is inspired by the classic VW camper van. The company has plans to introduce an all-electric saloon and at least two electric SUVs under the ID banner, too.
The Beetle's comeback isn't set in stone, though, because VW bosses must prove that the public appetite for electric cars is strong enough before making a decision. Despite sales of electrified cars (including hybrids and plug-in hybrids, as well as fully electric vehicles) in the UK growing by almost 20% so far this year, such models only account for 5.3% of cars on UK roads.
If the new Beetle gets the green light, it wouldn't go on sale for some time. In fact, officials have said that a decision on the future of the car can't be taken for at least two years – and that's before the design, engineering and production process gets under way.
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