The Volkswagen Beetle is a classic — a car so unique that it has stamped the image of itself on our collective consciousness. It’s had songs written about it, been the subject of artists, starred in movies and TV and transported us from Dead shows to surf spots. In production from 1945, the Beetle and its many incarnations and redesigns is the among the longest-running and most-manufactured automobile anywhere in the world. Now, at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, it’s about to get another makeover — it’s about to get electrified.
VW unveiled their new Bug concept, the “E-Bugster,” as a car that while immediately identifiable as a Beetle, also includes many new tweaks and features that proclaim that this is definitely not your father’s Bug.
To begin with, VW chopped a few inches off the top of the Beetle, giving the concept a sleeker, lower profile. This redesign, the company says, hopes to evoke more of the classic, two-seater “speedster” look. VW also widened and flattened out the Bug’s windshield and slapped on some made-for-business 20-inch wheels which really ad to the more aggressive, performance inspired look.
Under the hood, the new VW concept is powered by Volkswagen’s upcoming “blue-e-motion” powertrain, which is set to make its debut in the new, electric Golf later this year. The car features an electric motor that makes 114 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. That motor is powered by 695 pounds of lithium-ion battery stored under the trunk floor and the rear bench.