The iconic Volkswagen Bug may live on in the electric era after all. On Monday, Volkswagen revealed a new digital electric Beetle concept for an upcoming animated film set to hit theaters and Netflix next month. The question is, will it come alive?
Will Volkswagen revive the Beetle in the electric era?
Volkswagen’s Beetle attracted over 23 million people globally. However, after slowing sales, the company retired the compact, uniquely designed car in the US in 2019.
With nicknames like the Bug, Volkswagen’s Beetle still stood out amongst the crowd. Despite retiring the model several years ago, Volkswagen says it continues incorporating its rich heritage as it transitions to an all-electric lineup.
According to VW, the electric ID.4 SUV integrates the Beetle’s rear-engine layout and low center of gravity for a “fun-to-drive” formula.
Volkswagen has taken other beloved models, such as its microbus, transitioning it into the modern electric era with the ID. Buzz (deliveries start in the US next year), so why not create an electric Beetle?
The automaker teased the idea of an electric Bug way back in 2017, with VW’s head of design at the time, Klaus Bischoff, saying the company was “fighting hard” for it. Although no decisions were made, Bischoff explained, “It’s possible the Bug’s future is electric.”
Volkswagen went as far as releasing a fully electric E-Bugster concept in 2014 that packs “more power, less flower,” featuring quick charging via a new Combined Charging System developed by Audi, BMW, Porsche, Ford, GM/Opel.
The E-Bugster was designed as the same length as the standard Beetle but 30 mm wider. The roof was also lowered to 1,400 mm (around 90 mm reduction) to enhance aerodynamics while giving it a sportier look.
Then there was the all-electric ID. Buggy concept, shown at the 2019 NY International Auto Show. The concept looked like an offroad Bug that took “inspiration from the classic California dune buggies of the 60s.”
Volkswagen revealed a new electric Beetle concept that will debut in an upcoming animated family movie in collaboration with ZAG and Mediawan Kids & Family, “Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir.”
The automaker said, “The beloved characters will experience their adventures with different fully electric cars of our Volkswagen ID. family,” including a concept electric Beetle car alongside the ID. Vizzion and ID. Buzz models.
VW claims the collaboration offers them “the opportunity to introduce the ID. Family in a very likable way to a broad family audience.” It also says the EVs “will be integrated in a meaningful way into the storyline.”
You can catch of glimpse of the concept yourself with the movie debuting in theaters globally on July 5 or on streaming beginning July 28.