Electric power, RWD, and retro design? Sounds like a lot of fun!
The Volkswagen Beetle is one of the company’s oldest models still on sale today. The current generation was launched back in 2011 and sales are constantly declining, leaving the successor of the retro-inspired vehicle with a big question mark hanging above.
However, while VW is planning to end the production of the current Beetle, the company is not yet willing to give up on the retro wave and is considering a new Beetle with purely electric powertrain. According to a new report, it could join the brand’s initial range of electric vehicles, all based on the dedicated MEB (Modular Electric Baukasten) platform.
““The next decision on electric cars will be what kind of emotional concepts we need. If we wanted to do a Beetle, electrically it would be much better than today’s model, much closer to history, because it could be rear-wheel drive,” Volkswagen chairman, Herbert Diess, told Autocar.
Diess is referring to the fact that the original Beetle had a rear-mounted boxer engine and was rear-wheel drive. According to him, the flexible MEB architecture allows any direct successor of the current Beetle to switch again to RWD, providing a number of packaging advantages.
“We have a good chance on the electric side. You can do derivatives efficiently. We have a very flexible platform. We can do nice things: rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive.”
Last month, Diess also revealed Volkswagen might resurrect another classic nameplate, the Kubelwagen, as an electric utility vehicle. He then confirmed the current Beetle “won’t go electric; the next one might, if there is a next one.”
A production version of the Bulli, Budd-e, and I.D. Buzz concepts is planned to become Volkswagen’s first retro-inspired electric vehicle. It will debut in 2022 and will offer Level 3 autonomous capabilities.