Volkswagen’s iconic Beetle has been redefined and reinvented for the 21st century, now as a concept car for the future: the pure electric E-Bugster. The E-Bugster is a two-seat concept that combines iconic Beetle styling with zero-emissions motoring. It is the latest addition to VW’s Blue-e-motion family of concept cars, powered by a 114 horsepower electric motor and lithium-ion battery, and featuring a low roofline and unique styling.
The name “E-Bugster” is a combination of “E” for electric, “Bug,” the American nickname for the Beetle, and “speedster,” which typically describes an open-top two-seater. Although the E-Bugster concept is clearly not a convertible, it sports the typical speedster profile of shallow windows and a low, dramatic roofline.
At the heart of the E-Bugster is an electric motor that generates 114 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A lithium-ion battery enables the car to go more than 100 miles in zero emissions driving. The battery weighs 695 pounds and is stored under the trunk floor and the rear bench seat. The battery is recharged via a plug interface located underneath the hood’s VW logo and can accommodate all three types of available chargers: Level 1 (120V), Level 2 (240V), and where available, Level 3 (quick charge, 80 percent charge in 30 minutes). Holistically, Volkswagen calls the electric drive unit used in the E-Bugster “Blue-e-motion,” and it will be found in future products such as the Golf Blue-e-Motion.
The top of the E-Bugster extends in a flat arch over this chrome line and borders the vehicle’s side windows. The height between the chrome lower edge of these windows and the uppermost roofline is tight, like a chopped-down speedster. Overall, the Bugster is nearly three inches lower than a Beetle.
The E-Bugster sports EV-specific gauges inside. The traditional tachometer has been replaced with an energy consumption display that fluctuates with vehicle acceleration. Other instrumentation includes a driving range indicator, a display showing the battery’s charge state, and a display that shows the driver the intensity of battery regeneration.