Other historic models could also get this treatment.
While this year marks a new era for Volkswagen with the debuts of the ID.3 electric hatchback and the new eight-generation Golf, it also marks the end of another era because the beloved Beetle is ending production. The current-generation Beetle is bowing out this year with the special Final Edition available in exclusive colors, but there were rumors that it could return as an all-electric model. Those rumors were recently squashed by CEO Herbert Diess, but VW has announced it has converted a classic Beetle into an electric car.
Created in collaboration with Volkswagen Group Components and eClassics, the concept looks like an ordinary vintage Volkswagen Beetle convertible on the outside, but it's been fitted with a battery, electric motor and one-speed gearbox from the VW e-up!
"The electrified Beetle combines the charm of our classic car with the mobility of the future. Innovative e- components from Volkswagen Group Components are under the bonnet – we work with them to electrify historically important vehicles, in what is an emotional process," explained Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components. "We are also providing Beetle owners with a professional conversion solution, using production parts of the highest quality."
Powering the 81-hp electric motor is a 36.8 kWh lithium-ion battery built into the underbody that delivers a 124-mile range and also supports fast charging, allowing the e-Beetle to store enough energy for a journey of over 93 miles after charging for around an hour. Inevitably, electrifying the Beetle has added some extra weight, which required the chassis and brakes to be reinforced. Despite weighing 2,821 pounds, the e-Beetle accelerates 62 mph from a standstill in just under four seconds and to 50 mph in just over eight seconds.
Based on this concept, Volkswagen says other historic cars could potentially be electrified in the future such as the Bus and Porsche 356. They could also use VW's MEB platform, which would result in improved performance and range. A near-production Volkswagen e-Beetle will debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show next week.