Just what is VW up to?
Volkswagen appears to have gone on a bit of a trademarking spree in Europe recently, filing trademarks for a slew of classic VW model names with an "e-" prefix appended on, suggesting that the company could have some interesting electrification projects in the works. The names are all of the same form as Volkswagen's "e-Beetle" - a one-off concept produced when VW decided to drop the battery-electric powertrain from the e-Up into a vintage Volkswagen Beetle.
Incidentally, "e-Beetle" was one of the names trademarked, suggesting that the new crop of e-names could be related in some way.
The other three electrified classic VW model names uncovered by VW ID Talk are e-Karmann, e-Kübel, and e-Golf Classic. We all know what the VW Golf is, of course, but for the uninitiated, "e-Karmann" refers to the VW Karmann Ghia - a svelte, classic 2+2 based on the Beetle, with a coachbuilt body designed in Italy. The "e-Kübel" refers to a light military vehicle from the 1940s, the Kübelwagen, which was the precursor to the Type 181 - a.k.a. the "Thing".
Interestingly enough, some weeks ago, we reported that Volkswagen had filed a trademark application for "e-Samba" after Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles revealed an electric-swapped T1 Samba Bus back in March.
We're not entirely sure what to make of all this intellectual property activity, except that the automaker could be planning additional pure-electric one-offs built on classic VW models. The company could even be inching toward releasing EV retrofit kits for some of those classic VWs. Or, it could be that the company is simply going and trademarking names with no specific intent, just to retain the option of using them later or to keep them out of competitors' hands.
Whatever the case, we doubt that this "e-" prefix naming scheme in any way threatens to supplant Volkswagen's "ID" naming scheme for its modern battery-electric vehicles. That's here to stay.