Soon, it will be end of the road for the people’s car from Germany – the Volkswagen Beetle – as the carmaker is due to end the production of the second generation in 2019. Sadly, VW has no plans to give the Beetle a direct successor. Nonetheless, it remains possible that the name “Beetle” would be resurrected as an all-new model distinct from its current two-door form.
A report from Autocar is saying that VW is considering creating a revolutionary new Beetle, one that has four doors and powered by an electric powertrain. The new Beetle could be presented as part of the army of emotional cars that VW plans to launch along its standard models.
The carmaker’s top honcho, Herbert Diess, is bent on introducing these new emotional cars, which will include the production version of the ID Buzz microbus that will be due on 2022. But before the ID Buzz, VW will be introducing the production versions of its volume electric vehicles like the ID hatchback and ID Crozz sports utility vehicle at the end of the decade (2020).
Interestingly, the new ID models are underpinned by the Volkswagen Group’s MEB (Modularer Elektrobaukasten) platform. This architecture is especially developed to underpin electric models under the VW Group, and of course, the VW brand. MEB plays a crucial role in VW Groups’s plans to create an electric version of all group models – numbering around 300 – by the end of next decade (2030). Thus, it is highly possible that a new Beetle EV would be underpinned by MEB.
Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, remarked to Autocar that the carmaker will prioritize bigger-selling electric cars (ID models) as they contain super-complicated technology. Then, VW will shift its focus to more exotic cars and emotional models, with the possibility a new Beetle EV.
According to Bischoff, having the Beetle EV underpinned by the MEB platform could make the model more appealing, as it would be able to offer more space and comfort with the same iconic shape. He noted that while the present Beetle is indeed an appealing two-door coupé or convertible, the number of units that can be sold is limited because of its niche nature.
Bischoff remarked that a Beetle EV could sit on the MEB version that underpins the ID hatchback, simply because it has the shortest possible wheelbase. When that happens, the Beetle could offer a lot of interior space, which increases its level of functional as well as appeal.
VW’s chief designers told Autocar that he already made a sketch of a four-door Beetle sitting on the MEB platform. However, he noted that it would take two to three years before VW decides to approve to bring such a car into production.