One of Volkswagen’s most iconic models, the Beetle recently got an extension of life in its current form as the company continues to figure out the car’s future. Now, it seems a decision has been made and Volkswagen will succeed the current Beetle with a completely new, all-electric model with a total of four-doors. Yup, Volkswagen’s beloved icon becomes a plug-in battery electric vehicle and a sedan on top.
Our friends across the pond at AutoCar in the U.K. sat down with a few of the company’s top executives to learn what’s in store for the future. And instead of potentially risking another scandal with internal combustion engine emissions testing, Volkswagen has pledged instead to try and phase them out completely as it moves its “ID” lineup of electric vehicles into production.
AutoCar sat down with Volkswagen’s current head, Herbert Deiss, along with the company’s design chief, Klaus Bischoff, both of whom shared some updates for the company’s latest electrification efforts.
So far, we already know that a production version of the ID Buzz microbus electric vehicle tribute is still currently under development, but is on the horizon to show up in dealerships sometime in 2022. Now, the company told AutoCar that the Beetle will add itself to the ID electric vehicle lineup. The Beetle joins the ID Buzz microbus, the ID Crozz SUV, and ID Vizzion sedan, as the company continues to develop a range of mainstream electric vehicles. The ID Crozz is expected to arrive sometime next year.
This is a part of the company’s plan to ramp up efforts to really get the ball rolling with these new electric vehicles. By adding a popular model to the Beetle, that leaves no chance of fans being left out, except if they want gas power.
“Our duty is to get the volume [ID] models under way. These cars have super-complicated technology and if you do too much, it’s an overload,” Bischoff told the outlet. “Then we [can] move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion.”
The Beetle’s changeover to a battery electric vehicle isn’t the only change the iconic model will endure. In the same conversations, AutoCar also learned that the Beetle will grow an extra set of doors, all in hopes of motivating the volume needle on what Volkswagen itself calls a very “niche product.”
“The Beetle of today is a very attractive two-door coupe or convertible, but it is limited in the amount of cars that it can sell because it’s a niche,” Bischoff continued speaking to reporters.
The company anticipates the next Beetle will share its architecture and backbone with Volkswagen Group’s latest MEB modular platform for all-electric small and midsize vehicles. That way, it would fulfill Herbert Deiss’s long-lived ambition to produce a Beetle EV. He even hinted his desire to bring the Beetle back to its roots by also making it rear-wheel drive.