And another suggests an electric Thing is also in the works.
The Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) platform underpinning the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 and the entire ID family is a critical piece of engineering. Since this architecture is scalable, it can expand or contract to accommodate nearly any vehicle type, including the upcoming ID.6 three-row SUV. Rumors dating back to 2017 predicted that Volkswagen would use the MEB platform to revive several classic models from its past. Some projects, like the Myers Manx-inspired ID Buggy, were sadly canceled, but others are very much still in the works.
Back in 2020, VW posted trademark filings with the EUPTO for several classic nameplates with an "e" prefix. Two of these names -- e-Karmann and e-Safari -- were recently trademarked with the USPTO. The patents both cover a wide spectrum of vehicle classes, but it's safe to assume these will be electric vehicles.
Let's talk about e-Karmann first because it is more out of left field and sounds slightly more exciting. The original Karmann Ghia was a 2+2 coupe/convertible sold from 1955 to 1974. Its underpinnings came from a pedestrian VW Beetle, but that gorgeous body was styled by Carrozzeria Ghia, an Italian design house. VW's current CEO, Ralf Brandstatter, hinted that the brand could build an electric convertible based on the ID.3. Instead of that funky creation, we'd rather see an electric Karmann Ghia revival.
As for the e-Safari, this is not the first time we've heard rumors of an electric adventure vehicle from VW. After canceling the ID Buggy Project, the company reportedly began transferring some of the development work into a new project for an electric Thing revival called the e-Thing. The Thing was a quirky-looking convertible based on the VW Type 181, a civilian version of the military Kubelwagen from World War II.
VW sold the Thing under many names worldwide, including the Safari in Mexico and South America, Kurierwagen in Germany, Trekker in the UK, and Pescaccia in Italy. It's unclear why VW would decide to call it the "e-Safari" instead of "e-Thing" in the US, but we still think this could be an interesting vehicle in either case.