The original sub-compact is coming back in a big way this year. Following a complete re-design and the introduction of the Turbo variant, the Volkswagen Beetle is going electric with the E-Bugster.
So far a mere concept vehicle in Volkswagen's ambitious Blue-e-motion line, the E-Bugster will house an electric motor capable of generating 114 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Underneath its trunk and rear seats, a lithium-ion battery pushes the car to a range of 100 miles. And when a charge is in need, simply pop the VW logo on the hood and plug-in. Suitable for a 120V, a 240V, and a quick charge, 80% in 30 minutes, designers also "streamlined" the VW Beetle silhouette to a lower profile for greater efficiency. Plenty of LED usages on the its exterior lighting scheme, including a TRON-like blueish outline feature, the E-Bugster still has a hot rod/speedster flair with the chrome-out 20-inch wheels and drop-top.
No words on the exact production plan but with a fury of hybrid vehicles set to launch in the next few years and tougher emission rules in the U.S. and Europe, an off-shoot of the E-Bugster will most likely see the open roads in the next few years. Additional images via: Autoblog
E-BUGSTER CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT 2012 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
Two-seater concept blends iconic Beetle styling with zero-emissions motoring
- Latest addition to the Blue-e-motionâ„¢ family of concept cars
- Powered by a 114-horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery
- Low roofline and unique styling make E-Bugster stand out
Herndon, VA - Volkswagen's iconic Beetle has been redefined for the 21st century. Now, it has been further reinvented as a concept car for the future: the pure electric E-Bugster.
What's in a Name?
The name "E-Bugster" is a combination of "E" for electric, "Bug," the American nickname for the Beetle, and "speedster," which typically describes an open-top two-seater. Although the E-Bugster concept is clearly not a convertible, it sports the typical speedster profile of shallow windows and a low, dramatic roofline.
Blue-e-motion for a Cleaner Future
At the electric heart of the E-Bugster is an electric motor that makes 114 horsepower (85 kW) and 199 pound-feet of torque. A lithium-ion battery enables the car to go more than 100 miles in zero emissions driving. Stored under the trunk floor and the rear bench, the battery weighs 695 pounds. The battery is recharged via a plug interface located underneath the hood's VW logo and can accommodate all three types of available chargers: Level 1 (120V), Level 2 (240V), and, where available, Level 3 (quick charge, 80 percent charge in 30 minutes). Holistically, Volkswagen calls the electric drive unit used in the E-Bugster "Blue-e-motion," and it will be found in future products such as the Golf Blue-e-Motion.
In addition to being a study in pure-electric mobility, the E-Bugster is also a dynamic study in Beetle design. Up front, the E-Bugster's flat and wide windshield is distinctive. The E-Bugster utilizes LED Daytime Running Lights, just like the production Beetle, except that here they form a distinctive graphic on either side of the lower air intake in the front bumper. This LED graphic is mirrored by reflectors in the rear bumper. Ever since the e-up! concept car was presented in Europe, these unique DRLs have become a signature element on Volkswagen electric vehicle studies.
From the side, the E-Bugster's low, flat roof serves to frame the rest of the vehicle's distinctive features. Between its flared fenders and 20-inch wheels, there's a distinctive Beetle "V" that runs along the side of the vehicle. Above its side sill, a decal with the "E-Bugster" signature can be seen. Just above this point, the chrome has been lengthened from the lower window border towards the rear of the car. The top of the E-Bugster extends in a flat arch over this chrome line and borders the vehicle's side windows. The height between the chrome lower edge of these windows and the uppermost roof line is tight, like a chopped-down speedster. Overall, the Bugster is nearly three inches lower than a Beetle.
A unique exterior look isn't all that sets the E-Bugster apart from the production Beetle; it also sports EV-specific gauges inside. 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.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.