The launch of the New Beetle has given Volkswagen the opportunity to open its doors with new concept iterations for the car. At the 2012 NAIAS, we’re getting a look at the first of these concepts in the form of the E-Bugster Concept.
The E-Bugster is based on the New Beetle, albeit dressed in a far more aggressive manner than that of the production model. The profile features a lower roofline, wider C-pillars, blacked-out A-pillars, and a new set of fancy 19" alloy wheels.
If you recall back in 2005, Volkswagen introduced a similar-looking concept in the Ragster. That car also came with a low and flat roofline and was being pegged as a pre-cursor to the eventual production model. In the case of the E-Bugster, the German automaker is introducing the concept as a way of showing a new powertrain system that could eventually translate to future production models.
That propulsion system features an lithium-ion battery pack-powered electric motor that will be mounted just under the boot and rear bench of the car. The motor is capable of producing 114 horsepower (85W) with a range of 100 miles while also producing zero emissions. The pack can be charged through a plug that can be found just under the Volkswagen logo with an 80-percent charge being achieved in just 30 minutes.
So while it’s unlikely that we’ll see the E-Bugster Concept past this stage, we could very well see this new "Blue-e-motion" propulsion system in future Volkswagen models.
UPDATE 01/20/2012: Turns out, all of this concept stuff isn’t for show. Volkswagen has announced that the E-Bugster was specifically built to judge the auto world’s reaction and if it’s positive, then V-Dub may be adding a third version to its Beetle lineup: a Speedster model.
"This is a serious proposal for a speedster Beetle and I am sure it will come for production", says designer Mark Lichter, "we just need to find the business case. A Beetle Speedster is the perfect car for the US."
Yep, our morning just got better! Hit us up with your thoughts on a future Speedster Beetle!