Yes, Volkswagen is considering to build an electric variant of the Beetle. Chairman of VW, Herbert Diess stated that Beetle would be a part of its range of zero-emission models based on the MEB (Modular Electric Baukasten) platform.
The Volkswagen Beetle electric will be a sister model of the ID Buzz concept microbus which was showcased at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. But Volkswagen is yet to decide on the successor of the Beetle, but the company confirmed that the next model would be an electric vehicle.
Diess said that the MEB is a perfect platform which can spawn many derivatives of the electric vehicles. The flexible chassis allows accommodating rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
The new Beetle electric will be a rear-wheel-drive model which is based on the ID hatchback concept showcased at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The ID hatchback runs on a single electric motor producing 168bhp mounted within the rear axle assembly.
The rear-wheel-drive configuration and the rear-mounted electric motor reflects the original Beetle of 1939 which also used rear-mounted boxer engine and rear-wheel-drive layout.
The adoption of the rear-wheel-drive configuration on the modern Beetle could lead to a number of advantages as compared to the front-engined, front-wheel-drive cars. The new Beetle could feature a front luggage compartment similar to the original Beetle.
Volkswagen has an ambitious plan of introducing a slew of new electric models to gain the lost ground due to the diesel gate scandal. Now, it looks like the next-gen Beetle will also be an electric vehicle which is a good thing for the future. But at the same time, the car should be practical and feasible to use in the urban conditions.
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