Introduced in 2011, the current Volkswagen Beetle is not one of the automaker’s best-selling models and is even facing the chopping block, according to previous reports. Last year, the German manufacturer managed to sell 15,667 Beetles in the United States – nearly three times less than 2013, when the model arrived in America. But there’s still some hope for the retro-styled model, as Automobile magazine says an all-electric version could be in the works.
At the 2017 NAIAS in Detroit, the publication sat down and talked with Volkswagen brand head of design Klaus Bischoff, who hinted the future of the famous nameplate could be linked to an electric powertrain.
“There have been no decisions so far,” Bischoff told Automobile, “but it’s possible the Bug’s future is electric.”
While this sounds pretty vague, last year Volkswagen announced it has a major plan to completely overhaul its lineup in the next years and to launch no less than 30 electric vehicles by 2025. The “biggest change process in Volkswagen's history” is part of the company’s desire to “make e-mobility a new hallmark of Volkswagen" – and to sell at least two million EVs annually by the end of the next decade. Given that, it won’t be incorrect to think the Beetle could be given one more chance with an all-electric version.
If the project gets the green light, it will be interesting to see how Volkswagen will work on it. One option is to create a hybridized Beetle, based on the MQB platform and using existing technologies. Another option for the Germans is to create a brand new electric model from scratch, using the MEB architecture for electric cars. A new name is also a possibility.
Note: Volkswagen E-Bugster concept pictured.
Source: Automobile Magazine