The VW Beetle won’t be with us for much longer. It’ll go out of production next year, and there won’t be a direct replacement. But, that might not be the end for the famous name.
Autocar reports that an all-electric indirect replacement for the car is being mulled over. If given the green light, it’d be based on VW’s new ‘MEB’ architecture, which is also due to form the basis of the production versions of the ID, the ID Crozz and another retro throwback - the Type 2-inspired ID Buzz.
The lack of internal combustion engine won’t be the only deviation from the old one. “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,” VW’s design chief Klaus Bischoff explained. So, a four-door Beetle it is. In fact, Bischoff has already completed a design sketch of such a car, which may end up being rear-wheel drive to give it a stronger link to the original ‘Type 1’ Beetle. The flexibility of electric powertrains means that MEB should be able to have multiple drive layout options.
We won’t be seeing anything like this for a while, however. VW needs to get the high-volume stuff like the production ID out the door first, and then VW will be able to “move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion”. The first of ‘emotional’ car in the ID family will be the Buzz, and that won’t be here until 2022, so don’t expect to see the New New Beetle until 2023 at the earliest.
In the meantime, what do you think about the prospect of this plug-in Beetle? Could it be a worthy successor to the Type 1, or would you rather the name be retired for good?