Volkswagen has lifted the lid on its E-Bugster concept, revealing an open-top Speedster version today at the 2012 Beijing motor show.

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The Volkswagen E-Bugster Speedster combines the Detroit concept’s low profile, chopped top sports stance with an open-top design, previewing the styling of the upcoming second-generation Volkswagen Beetle cabriolet.

While the rag top of the first-gen New Beetle cabrio remained visible over the boot when folded down, the E-Bugster Speedster’s cloth cover is concealed behind the seats, suggesting the new production model will be more cleverly packaged and retain cleaner lines.

The all-new Volkswagen Beetle cabriolet is expected to debut at the Los Angeles motor show in November, around the same time the hard top Beetle goes on sale in Australia.

Like the earlier E-Bugster concept, the Speedster is powered by an 85kW/270Nm electric motor and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 10.8 seconds. Volkswagen says its lithium-ion battery has a range of “at least 180km in the urban world” and can be recharged within 35 minutes from a fast charging point.

The E-Bugster’s electric powertrain is similar to the technology that will feature in the upcoming Volkswagen Golf EV, which is scheduled to enter production in 2014.

The EV tech could be expanded to production versions of the Beetle cabrio later this decade, but the initial launch range will include a more conventional mix of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines as seen in the hatch.