The Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept is not so much an exercise in adding even more edge to the redesigned Beetle and its more masculine retro look. Nope, it's more about what an all-electric Beetle would be like were VW to build one. The three-inch chopped roof and 20-inch wheels are just eye candy to get us to pay attention.
What's really going on here is VW applying its Blue-e-motion electric drive unit to a sexier shape ahead of its production debut in the decidedly more plebeian Golf. In this application, VW has fitted the E-Bugster Concept with an electric motor and 695-pound lithium-ion battery fitted under the rear seat and trunk floor. Combined, they'll be good for a 100-mile driving range, according to VW, and accept all kinds of charges, including a Level 3 quick charger that can get the pack back up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. The motor produces 114-horsepower (85 kW) and 199 pound-feet of scoot.
Besides the chopped top and big wheels, the E-Bugster also gets slightly reworked front and rear fascias that feature the trademark LED daytime running lights that VW uses on all of its EV projects. The only change on the inside of the car is a new instrument cluster with an "energy consumption display" where the tachometer would be and additional gauges for the battery charge, range indicator and braking regen.
This also isn't even the first time that the Beetle has received the speedster treatment, with Volkswagen having shown the similar-looking Ragster concept at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show. We'd gladly welcome such a Beetle were VW to give it the green light, but expect the electrified drivetrain to reach dealerships before the chopped roof.