Car news

11 January 2012

More from Detroit: VW E-Bugster concept

It's an all-electric Beetle speedster-thing. It is amusing to say in a northern accent

Sam Philip
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E-Bugster. Not the sound of a Yorkshireman swearing, but Volkswagen's all-electric Beetle concept.

Unwrapped at the Detroit show, the E-Bugster is a chopped two-seater that demonstrates, in the rather twee words of VW, that the new Beetle is 'more power, less flower'. Its A-pillars are nine centimetres shorter than those of the new Beetle and raked back more steeply too, giving the Bug' a speedsterish profile.

The E-Bugster is a couple of centimetres wider than the standard Beetle, with new front and rear bumpers sporting glitzy LED lights, a new VW concept signature.

There's a battery where the rear seats should be, serving up 85kWh of power to a electric motor. Despite its schportier profile, the E-Bugster isn't exactly searing in the pace department, taking eleven seconds to reach 100kph. VW assures us it'll manage at least 177 kilometers on a single charge, but then again they haven't seen the way we drive. Good thing, then, that the E-Bugster can be fully recharged in just 35 minutes.

VW won't say at this stage whether a production electric Beetle is on the cards, but admits that the E-Bugster's powertrain is essentially identical to the upcoming electric Golf Blue-e-motion (no, really), so the technology is certainly production-viable. The E-Bugster is also said to hint at the design of the upcoming Beetle cabriolet, but don't expect the production convertible to be anything like as chopped as this concept.

Company bosses were, sadly, unable to confirm whether the E-Bugster would be followed by the U-Git and O-Justsodoffnow concepts.

Tags: volkswagen, detroit, e bugster