Growing up I remember many a summer night spent cruising the New England countryside with my dad, top down in his old Volkswagen Beetle as the tunes played on the FM radio and the warm sun beat down on us. Both that Beetle and my dad have long since passed, but I have to imagine if he were around today he’d enjoy knowing VW has introduced a 21st century spin on his favorite car of old – the E-Bugster electric car concept.
While we’ve already covered the showcasing of the VW E-Bugster back in Detroit earlier this year, what makes VW’s announcement from Auto China in Beijing interesting this time around is the fact this electric Beetle had highlighted its topless option. VW traces this modern take on its classic automobile with a removable roof to January 2005 in, once again, Detroit. It was here Volkswagen presented the new “Ragster” look – a self-described speedster with a swept-back ragtop (folding roof).
At least as relates to the Chinese version of this concept, it is a two-seater whose electric motor allows the vehicle to go 0 to 60 in under 11 seconds. The lithium-ion battery of this vehicle, whose modules are housed in a space-saving location behind the front seats, allows for what is said to be a range of 110 miles in urban settings.
A quick charging function on the E-Bugster allows for the battery to be fully charged in around 35 minutes, when making use of compatible fast charging technology. Also an option for battery charging is recovery of energy generated when one is braking. This kinetic energy is converted into electricity, which is stored in the battery, thereby slightly increasing the driving range of the E-Bugster.
Inside the new concept, the E-Bugster sports EV-specific gauges. The traditional tachometer has been replaced with an energy consumption display that fluctuates with vehicle acceleration. Other instrumentation includes a driving range indicator, a display showing the battery’s charge state, and a display that shows the driver the intensity of battery regeneration.