Volkswagen Beetle set to go electric and rear-wheel drive
10 November 2017 Greg Kable
The Beetle EV would act as a sister model to the upcoming Microbus that was
previewed as the ID Buzz Concept [
] earlier this year
Volkswagen is actively considering plans for an electric, rear-wheel-drive
successor to today’s Beetle as part of a range of zero-emissions models
based on its new MEB (Modular Electric Baukasten) platform, according to the
German car maker’s chairman, Herbert Diess.
The proposed electric-powered Beetle, which would be a sister model to the
modern-day Microbus that was presaged by the ID Buzz concept at this year’s
Detroit motor show, is one of a number of proposals that are planned to be
put before Volkswagen board members when they meet to vote on ways to build
on the company’s initial range of electric cars.
“The next decision on electric cars will be what kind of emotional concepts
we need,” says Diess.
Explaining the term “emotional concepts”, Volkswagen’s 59-year-old chairman
says it covers cars such as the Microbus and Beetle, as well as open-top
models such as the Kübelwagen and Buggy.
Diess denies that a firm decision on the Beetle's successor has been made.
However, he suggests that any direct successor model would be electric. “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,” he
Diess says the MEB platform provides the perfect basis for emotional
concepts: “We have a good chance on the electric side. You can do
derivatives efficiently. We have a very flexible platform. We can do nice
things: rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive.”
The reference to rear-wheel drive stemmed from the layout planned for
Volkswagen’s first fully dedicated electric-powered model, as previewed by
the ID hatchback at last year’s Paris motor show. It runs a single electric
motor developing 168bhp that is mounted within the rear axle assembly,
providing drive to the rear wheels.
The rear-mounted electric motor and rear-wheel-drive layout of the ID
hatchback mirrors that of the original Beetle in 1939, which used a
rear-mounted boxer engine and was rear-wheel drive. Its adoption on a
modern-day Beetle could open up a number of packaging advantages not seen on
today’s front-engined/front-wheel-drive model, including a front luggage
compartment similar to that of the original.
Volkswagen resurrected the Beetle in 1997 following positive reception of
the retro Concept One show car at the 1994 Detroit motor show. The
first-generation model was produced at Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla, Mexico,
until 2010, when it was succeeded by a second-generation model that remains
on sale today.
Diess confirmed to Autocar that the MEB platform is already planned to
support up to 15 new electric-powered models, five of which will be sold
under the Volkswagen name.
[© Haymarket Media]
Next VW Beetle Could Be A Rear-Wheel-Drive EV
Nov 10, 2017 ““The next decision on electric cars will be what kind of
emotional concepts we need. If we wanted to do a Beetle, electrically it
would be much better than today's ...
All-electric Volkswagen Beetle with RWD under evaluation
10th Nov 2017 The Beetle EV under consideration is expected to be a sibling
to the electric VW Microbus that was previewed by the ID Buzz concept that
is due in 2020 ...
Volkswagen is considering making the Beetle electric
Mashable-3 hours ago
Speaking to Autocar, Diess said that the company was "actively considering"
plans for an electric Beetle as part of a range of zero-emissions cars ...
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