According to French blog Caradisiac, Volkswagen will show a brand new electric-car concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Pitched as VW demonstrating its intention to field a competitor for the hot-selling Nissan Leaf and the most-excellent Mitsubishi i-MiEV, word is the VW offering isn't based on any current car, nor is it destined for production.

According to the report, the EV's design is inspired by the new Beetle "in order to evoke hallmarks of the brand." We've heard similar things from inside VW directly, but no one is being specific. It's almost like they're trying to keep it a surprise or something.

Whatever it ends up being, the electrified people's car will be sharing floor space with the coming Jetta Hybrid. That sedan will utilize a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a lithium-ion-powered electric motor, shooting for an EPA fuel economy rating of 44 city, 44 highway and 44 combined miles per gallon.

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