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Is Volkswagen working on an electric Beetle?

By on July 20, 2020 0 41 Views

Recent trademark filings suggest an electrified Beetle could be in the works

It was a day when Volkswagen announced it was finally relegating its famed Beetle to the scrapyard of automotive history. For a good long while, the Beetle — best selling car of all time, only recently surpassed by Toyota’s even more ubiquitous Corolla — was the face of numerous movies and countless (as in, virtually too many to even imagine) stories of automotive comings-of-age. In automotive folklore, the modest little bubble car is the car that put multiple generations on the road.

And it may be back. According to the European Union Intellectual Property Office, Volkswagen has filed an application for something called “e-Beetle.” Now, before we start getting too excited, know that they also filed applications for “e-Golf Classic,” “e-Karmann” and “e-Kübel” and there’s no guarantee they’re all coming back.

It’s hard to know what to make of these applications. Is VW simply trying to prevent an interloper from capitalizing on one of the most marketable names in the automotive world? Or is Volkswagen, as long rumoured, really going to act on the speculation that there is still a place for the Love Bug, albeit powered by lithium-ion?

Volkswagen certainly still has a soft spot for the Bug, having partnered with a company called eClassics to fit the battery and powertrain from its E-Up! electric city car into old air-cooled Beetles. Its 36.8 kWh battery is said to be good for 200 kilometres. Better yet, this retrofitted electric version with 80 horsepower is more powerful than the original, and with the electric motor no longer hanging out way behind the rear axle, it is said to handle better as well.

With the proposed MEB platform being modular as well as electric, there’s would seem to be no good reason for the Beetle not to return. And since the company is already committed to the return of the (electric) Microbus, there really is a good chance we will see a Beetle resurrection. I call it first: Punch buggy, no punch backs.

Driving.CA – David Booth

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