Volkswagen’s Beetle is iconic – and according to recent reports, the car company actively considering developing an electric version. Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand told Autocar they’re mulling over an electric successor to the Beetle of today utilizing their Modular Electric Baukasten (MEB) platform. He said such an electric Beetle would actually be “much closer to history” as it could be rear-wheel drive like the VW Beetles of our 1960’s dreams.
Will Volkswagen draw on nostalgia – blended with modern, zero-emissions technology – for a Beetle of the future? The carmaker hasn’t yet made a firm decision about the car’s successor, according to Diess, but he did hint any direct successor would be electric. He told Autocar, “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.”
Autocar reports an electric Beetle is one of many proposals to be given to Volkswagen board members when they gather to vote on how they want to build on the initial range of electric vehicles. Diess told Autocar, “The next decision on electric cars will be what kind of emotional concepts we need” – referring to the nostalgia surrounding designs like the Beetle or the Microbus. He said the MEB platform is already set to support as many as 15 new electric models – five will be sold with the Volkswagen name.
An electric Beetle could open up options for Volkswagen – Diess said the MEB platform is very flexible. Autocar said the rear-wheel drive and rear-mounted electric motor of the ID hatchback shown at the Paris Motor Show last year are similar to the original Beetle. An electric Beetle could have a front luggage compartment.