The Volkswagen Beetle could be revived as a rear-wheel drive electric vehicle (EV) as part of the company’s upcoming I.D. family, according to a new report out of the UK.
Speaking with Autocar, Volkswagen’s Herbert Diess said the company needs to decide on “emotional concepts” for its upcoming electric cars – a term he defines as covering iconic models like the Microbus and Beetle, along with the Kübelwagen and Buggy.
“If we wanted to do a Beetle, electrically it would be much better than today’s model, much closer to history, because it could be rear-wheel drive,” he said.
While Diess was careful not to confirm whether a decision has been made on a Beetle successor, his comments point to an EV as the most likely route.
Should it be put into production, the Beetle would be the second Volkswagen ’emotional concept’ to be revived as an all-electric I.D. model, with the market version of the I.D. Buzz concept (above) to revive the Microbus in 2022.
It’s possible that the ‘I.D AEROe’ referenced in a product roadmap could be the a sporty rear-wheel drive coupe-styled hatchback reviving the Beetle name, though there rumours that it will be a successor to the now-defunct Scirocco are also circulating. Like the most recent Beetle, the Scirocco shared its architecture with the previous-generation Golf.
According to Autocar, Diess said Volkswagen’s MEB electric platform is already pencilled in as the basis of 15 EVs in the coming years, five of which will be sold with Volkswagen badges. The remaining 10 will likely be Audi, Seat and Skoda models.
The current-generation Beetle is no longer on sale in Australia due to slow sales, though it continues to be offered in overseas markets like Europe, in both hatchback and cabriolet forms.