Will it return to the lineup or not?
Volkswagen made the strategic decision a few years ago to go all-out with electric vehicles. The Dieselgate scandal was one of the main reasons why, another being the German automaker genuinely believing EVs were the future. With the all-new ID.3 hatchback set to begin production this summer and the US-bound VW ID.4 crossover's debut coming up soon, that future is already underway. However, a certain icon was recently discontinued with no immediate all-electric successor planned.
That icon is the VW Beetle, a model only a year ago the company claimed was finished for good, or for the foreseeable future. The ID. Buzz concept, a retro-styled EV van that harkens back to another icon, the VW Bus, is set to make production in the near future, replacing the Beetle as the throwback model.
However, Motor Illustrated recently spoke with VW design boss Klaus Bischoff who may have accidentally said something he probably shouldn't have. The publication claims that during a virtual online design forum headed by Bischoff last week, he dropped a few hints about the Beetle's comeback as an EV. It's entirely possible the Beetle could return as the rumored ID.1 subcompact EV.
There's also historical precedence because the original Beetle was referred internally as the Type 1. In other words, don't be surprised if a reborn but smaller Beetle were to appear in a few years' time as the ID.1 Beetle.
Downsizing the model would also make sense as there's very likely to be an increased demand for emissions-free city cars. Coincidentally, also last week word spread of VW's plans to launch an ID.1 and, possibly, the ID.2. That rumor, which started in German-language media, didn't mention anything about a reborn Beetle, but the overall timing is interesting.
Chances are the production-spec ID. Buzz will be called the ID.7 and the idea of selling it alongside a smaller ID.1 Beetle probably sounds awfully tempting. Question is, would a rumored ID.1 Beetle even be sold in the US? As of right now, probably not, but never say never.