Volkswagen has trademarked a number of model names with European authorities, it has been revealed overnight. All four names were trademarked with the 'e' prefix, pointing to yet another expansion of the German car company's electric future.
The website of the European Union Intellectual Property Office has shown the trademark applications from Volkswagen: e-Beetle, e-Karmann, e-Kübel, and e-Golf Classic.
Volkswagen has previously indicated it plans to build an electric version of the modern Kombi – as a van and a people mover – as the company looks to its past to map out its future.
CarAdvice reported in 2017 and again in 2018 on an electric VW Beetle. Herbert Diess, now VW chairman, told British car magazine Autocar in late 2017: "If we wanted to do a Beetle, electrically it would be much better than [the last Beetle] model, much closer to history, because it could be rear-wheel drive".
A render created by KDesign AG in 2018 (shown at the top of this story) provides a glimpse of what the upcoming e-Beetle could look like.
The VW e-Karmann also appears to be resurrecting the moniker of the VW Karmann Ghia, a two-door sports car based on the original Beetle's platform and produced from 1955 to 1974.
Karmann refers to the German coachbuilder responsible for producing the body of the car, while Ghia refers to the car's designer – Italian company Carrozzeria Ghia. It's likely the trademarked e-Karmann name omits Ghia as the company is still in operation, with the Karmann business closing its doors in 2010.
The e-Kübel name is reference to the Type 181, better known as the VW Thing.
Volkswagen may also be planning another retro model. The e-Golf Classic could refer to a new retro model paying homage to the first generation of VW Golf models, with the render above coming from a Russian car news website Kolesa suggesting a retro electric Golf model in 2019.
All four models could be based on Volkswagen's MEB electric 'skateboard' platform. The 'skateboard' concept allows car manufacturers to fit a number of different bodies on top of a common vehicle 'platform', saving substantial costs.
As reported by CarAdvice in June, Volkswagen has also licenced the MEB architecture to Ford.
A number of models are reportedly using the MEB platform, including the upcoming VW ID.4, which is expected to arrive in Australian showrooms in 2022.