Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept Debuts at North American International Auto Show

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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At this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen is showing off an even more modern interpretation of its recently-redesigned Beetle coupe. The current generation of the iconic Beetle was introduced just last year as a replacement for the New Beetle, which was originally introduced for the 1998 model year. Using the current generation Beetle as a platform, Volkswagen has now created the all-electric E-Bugster concept car.

Volkswagen says the name E-Bugster blends several terms together: "E" stands for electric, whereas "Bug" is the popular nickname for the Beetle. Lastly, "speedster" refers to the low roofline and short windows of convertible sports cars - styling traits that are adopted by the E-Bugster. However, Volkswagen concedes that while the E-Bugster has a sleek speedster roofline, it is not a convertible.

The Volkswagen E-Bugster concept is powered by a "Blue e-motion" electric motor that generates 114 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to its lithium-ion battery, the E-Bugster can travel over 160 km on electric power, without producing any emissions of course. The battery can be recharged with either a 120V charger, a 240V charger or a quick-charge option that gives the E-Bugster an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.

In true sports car form the E-Bugster offers seating for just two occupants. Stepping inside the E-Bugster reveals instrumentation such as an energy consumption display instead of the more conventional tachometer. There's also a driving range indicator, a display for the battery's charge state and another display that shows the state of battery regeneration.

The E-Bugster Concept sits on five-spoke 20-inch wheels and in addition to its sleek roofline it sports flared fenders, curved LED daytime running lights on the front bumper and tasteful "E-Bugster" graphics above its side sills. Volkswagen says the E-Bugster sits about seven centimetres lower than a standard Beetle, adding further to its sporty, road-hugging demeanour.

Though the Volkswagen E-Bugster is strictly a concept car, its Blue-e-motion electric drive unit is already planned for use in future models such as Volkswagen's Golf Blue-e-Motion.

So, given that Volkswagen is preparing to build an all-electric Golf with the Golf Blue-e-Motion and that the Beetle's competitor the Mini Cooper has already been tested with an electric drive unit, it seems likely that the E-Bugster will also go into production.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Coupe, EV, Volkswagen, 2012, E-Bugster Concept,

Organizations: Volkswagen, North American

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