As you may know already, Volkswagen unveiled the E-Bugster Concept at this year’s Detroit Auto Show and made quite a buzz. Apparently, this was Vw’s intention from the beginning: to see if the concept gets positive feedback and what do you know, it kinda did! As a result, the German manufacturer considers putting it into production as the third variant of the new Beetle – third, because the convertible version of the new Beetle will be unveiled in April at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
Still, Volkswagen didn’t say anything about its intentions but the designers believe that the new concept has chances to make it into production. "This is a serious proposal for a speedster Beetle and I am sure it will come for production", says designer Mark Lichter to Autocar, "we just need to find the business case".
For those who don’t know, the E-Bugster Concept was inspired by the 964 Porsche 911 Speedster. Apparently, designer Mark Lichter says that a speedster version of the Beetle would be the perfect car for the United States. As you can see from the photos, the E-Bugster Concept features a windscreen chopped-down by 65mm, while the high point of the roof has now been pushed back in order to give the roofline a wedge-like profile.
The Volkswagen E-Bugster features the same length as the standard Volkswagen Beetle at 4,278 mm long. However, with a width of 1,838 mm, the E-Bugster is 30 mm wider. Its new roof, meanwhile, lowers its height of 1,400 mm by 90 mm. These dimensions help give the speedster-style car a sportier and more dynamic look, whereas its low, swept-back windscreen and its wide rear screen offer you maximum visibility.
Both of the E-Bugster’s front and rear bumpers are substantially modified from the production Beetle’s bumpers. LED daytime running lights are featured at the front, forming a C shape on the outer edges of the car’s central air intake. These C-shape LED daytime running lights are a signature feature of VW’s electric vehicle concepts. The same also goes for the back, where, instead of LEDs, there are reflectors.
Beneath the E-Bugster’s flared wheel arches are 20-inch alloy wheels with 235/35 tyres. These wheels are adapted from the production car’s 18-inch ‘Twister’ alloys. Meanwhile, around the side windows’ bottom edge is a chrome strip looping around the car from one A-pillar to the other. The distance between the chrome strip and the top of the E-Bugster’s hard top is 400 mm.
E-Bugster’s two-seat interior reflects the brand’s sporty and high-tech characteristics. You will surely admire the sports seats that are nestled on both sides of the continuous center console, as well as the aluminium seatbelt guides and door handles.
Starting the E-Bugster Concept is a production value of sorts. You press the ‘Start’ button and the interior gets bathed, first, in white light, and then in blue light. The instrument cluster then begins with a light pulse and light emanates in a small strip and courses into the doors then around the air nozzles.
The E-Bugster takes inspiration from the carmaker’s Ragster concept, which debuted in 2005 during the Detroit Show, and which itself has inspired Volkswagen’s current Beetle. Ever wondered what the 'E' in E-Bugster stands for? It signifies the car’s electric power. Meanwhile, the 'Bug' in its name is pretty self-explanatory.