Were you sad to hear that production of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle will end next year as the current generation bows out? Well, don’t shed a tear just yet.
According to a report by Autocar, the company is already working on a plan that would see the lovable Bug come back as a four-door, battery-powered car based on the flexible MEB electric vehicle architecture. Furthermore, with the motor positioned behind the cabin, it would likely return to the rear-wheel-drive configuration of the original ‘Type 1’ Beetle.
A transformed and electrified Beetle is still a long, long way from happening, however. Right now, as you know, Volkswagen is preparing for the introduction of more mainstream, bigger-selling, MEB-based models under the I.D. badge, starting with a hatchback in 2019. There will also be production versions of the I.D. CROZZ SUV and I.D. VIZZION sedan concepts, plus a larger electric SUV. Heck, the German automaker intends to sell 50 different EV models across its various brands by 2025.
Since Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess likes to have “emotional” cars in the lineup, the famous microbus will be resurrected from the cool I.D. BUZZ concept in 2022. But there would be room for another or two. In fact, design chief Klaus Bischoff confirmed that he has already made a sketch of how a four-door electric Beetle might look, adding that the packaging advantages of the MEB platform could enable VW to broaden the appeal of the model by making it roomier and more comfortable while retaining its classic shape.
A decision to greenlight such a vehicle for production won’t be made until two or three years, Bischoff cautioned. In the meantime, if you really crave a retro-looking EV, the MINI Electric is set to arrive next year.