2012 Detroit Auto Show: Vw E-Bugster Concept is an electrified Beetle

Article by Anita Panait, on January 10, 2012

Volkswagen unveiled its E-Bugster concept car at the Detroit Auto Show. The E-Bugster name is a combination of the words “E” for electric, "Bug" for being a Beetle and "ster" from speedster. The car runs on an electric powertrain called "Blue e-motion," which utilizes a 114-hp electric motor powered by 695-lbs lithium-ion battery. The car is expected to run more than miles on a fully charged battery. 

The car is installed with an energy-consumption display, added with indicators for battery charge and range. The E-Bugster could be powered up to 80% on a quick-charge method using a plug beneath the VW logo on the hood.

The two-seater E-Bugster is like the 2011 Beetle with a new look. The car also has LED running lights and 20” wheels. The E-Bugster sports a flat roof for a chopped-speedster look.

Volkswagen E-Bugster -- with a length of 4,278 mm, width of 1,838 mm and height of 1,400 mm -- is as long as a standard Beetle but is around 30 mm wider and lower by around 90 mm. These dimensions allow the VW E-Bugster to have a more dynamic and sportier appearance. Compared to the Beetle, the E-Bugster features revised front and rear bumpers.

It also bears a certain feature that is a hallmark among Volkswagen's electric vehicle concepts -- LED daytime running lights placed at the outer edges of the central air intake forming a C-shape on the left, and reversed on the right. This hallmark feature is also adopted on the rear, with reflectors replacing LED units. The E-Bugster rides on 20-inch alloy wheels -- based on the 18-inch 'Twister' alloy rims of the production Beetle -- wrapped in 235/35 tires.

A chrome strip can be found around the side windows’ bottom edge, looping around the E-Bugster from A-pillar to A-pillar. The height from this chrome strip to the apex of the hard top is around 400 mm.

In addition, the new E-Bugster features a low, swept-back windscreen and wide rear screen for maximum visibility. Meanwhile, the high-tech and sporty interior of the E-Bugster features two sports seats sandwiching a continuous center console.

Moreover, the cabin of the E-Bugster comes with aluminum door handles and seatbelt guides. Interestingly, the new performance of the new VW E-Bugster Concept, albeit theatrically, commences as soon as the driver pushes the Start button. Upon pressing this button, the interior of the E-Bugster is illuminated with white light and then blue light. This illumination scheme commences with a pulse of light in the instrument cluster.

Light is emitted from a millimeter-wide strip in the cluster, and then flows into the doors and around the air nozzles. The new VW E-Bugster derives its name from the Ragster concept unveiled at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show – the same show car that inspired the current Beetle. While the 'E' of the name refers to the car’s electric power, the 'Bug' part easily points to the Beetle.

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