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Volkswagen E-Bugster

A Bug That Enjoys Getting Electrocuted

Volkswagen Research Click to hide

What's New
The Volkswagen E-Bugster concept takes technology from today and combines it with one of the most iconic vehicles to ever roll up on American shores. The name is strange to say the least, but Volkswagen breaks it down for us and it goes as follows. "E-Bugster" is a combination of a few things, "E" standing for electric, "Bug" for the nickname of the American Beetle, and a part of "speedster" was used to reference the speedster's low-roofline profile. That sets the tempo for the rest of the E-Bugster, serving as a frame for the rest of the concept's accents. Inside, an array of EV gauges can be found just like in EV's on the road today.

Who's It For
If the Volkswagen E-Bugster is to ever see the light of the production line it will have some stiff competition to deal with, such as the Ford Focus EV, Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. But the E-Bugster's style is an important factor; it's not often an EV comes along where having a roof is at the driver's discretion. Volkswagen also claims the E-Bugster is a study in all-electric mobility along with an overall evaluation of the current Beetle's design. While the exterior shadows the one of the current Beetle with a low roofline the E-Bugster's interior is like nothing seen in a Volkswagen before.

Key Features
There are multiple features included on the VW E-Bugster concept that have the environment-conscience driver in mind. Some of these include:

  • EV specific instrumentation: The E-Bugster contains EV gauges for the driver to see the exact impact they're making on the environment while driving.
  • Electric power: A 114 horsepower electric motor with a lithium-ion battery powers the latest addition to Volkswagen's family of Blue-e-motion vehicles. Volkswagen says the E-Bugster can go 100 miles on a single charge before needing to be recharged.
  • Mutliple chargers: The E-Bugster can accommodate all three types of available chargers: level 1 (standard 120-volt); level 2 (household 240-volt); and level 3 (a quick charger that can recover 80 percent of battery life in 30 minutes).
  • Exterior styling cues are meant to resemble a speedster with a chopped-down roofline and windows giving the VW E-Bugster a sleek look.

What We Think
When we first heard about the Volkswagen E-Bugster a picture a hybrid Beetle came to mind. However as we poured over more information it became more evident the E-Bugster is something different. While not shedding its insect skin completely, the E-Bugster is Volkswagen's way of exploring all-electric motion while keeping its stylistic edge. If the E-Bugster does make it to the production line we expect a few features to change as is the norm for concept vehicles. We also wouldn't be surprised if the VW E-Bugster was absorbed into the Beetle lineup completely, swapping out the all-electric stuff in favor of the hybrid setup debuting in the Jetta.

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