The “bug” as it’s affectionately called is VW’s most iconic car. We already know the microbus is set to make a return, but the Beetle will not have a replacement ready by the time its production ends next year. But, do not be surprised if the next generation will bring an electric Volkswagen Beetle.
Volkswagen is hard at work developing its ID series of electric cars for the future. Part of the work was developing their new MEB platform which will be the base for their ID cars. This MEB platform might also be used by a new electric Volkswagen Beetle.
VW boss Herbert Diess wants to introduce more “emotional” cars alongside their standard models. The Beetle is a strong contender for such a role.
The first of these “emotional” cars will be the ID Buzz microbus in 2022, which is based on that iconic 70s microbus. Along with that, there will be the ID hatchback next year. There will also be the ID Crozz and ID Vizzion.
Now obviously with the first ID hatchback around the corner and more cars to follow, VW is putting more attention towards this than the possible Beetle. VW design boss Klaus Bischoff said as such:
Our duty is to get the volume [ID] models under way. These cars have super-complicated technology and if you do too much, it’s an overload. Then we [can] move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion.
Bischoff, later on, said that: “The Beetle of today is a very attractive two-door coupe or convertible, but it is limited in the amount of cars that it can sell because it’s a niche.” “If you look at MEB, the shortest wheelbase [possible] is the ID [hatchback]. If you took that and did the Beetle on it, you have plenty of room so there’s no compromise in functionality anymore. So it could be a very attractive car.”
So there is a possibility that we no longer will see a two-door version of the Beetle in its next life.
Bischoff confirmed that he has made sketches of how a four-door Beetle would look like on the MEB platform. But added that it would take two or three years before the decision to produce the car or not could be made.
With the flexibility of the MEB platform, the Beetle could return back to its roots as a rear-wheel-drive car, as opposed to its current front-wheel offering. Diess has hinted at such a possibility, “If we wanted to do a Beetle EV, it would be much better than today’s model, much closer to history, because it could be rear-wheel drive.”
The Beetle has always been a hit or miss car with a lot of people. It’s great that such an iconic car might be able to live on in the electrified future. Although, I do see VW waiting to see how well the ID Buzz does to gauge how much people like these “emotional” cars before committing to production. Definitely a cool car to look forward to.