Bitten by the (electric) bug
The Beetle may be a retro car, but that doesn't mean it can't look to the future as Volkswagen has just released their latest concept at Detroit in the new E-Bugster; an electric interpretation of one of the world's most iconic nameplates.
Volkswagen has come to the 2012 NAIAS in Motor City with something truly special, as the brand has just revealed the Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept.
Driven by pure electric power, the E-Bugster features an 85 kWh motor, able to accelerate it from 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h) in 10.9 seconds. The E-Bugster has a range of 110 miles (or 176 km) and can be charged as quickly as 35 minutes.
The quick charging is possible thanks to a new Combined Charging System that was developed in co-operation with Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, Ford and General Motors/Opel. This allows charging via single-phase AC sources (for example a 120-Volt US or 230-Volt European domestic outlet) or via ultra-fast DC sources at specific charging stations. To succeed, this will require the development of a uniform industry standard for sockets and plugs and also for the charge controller, so that all charging types can be handled.
Brake energy regeneration also recharges the batteries. Other instruments include driving range and battery state indicators, and a meter that shows how much energy the driver is requesting via the accelerator pedal.
At 4,278 mm long and 1,838 mm wide, the E-Bugster is the same length as a standard Beetle but 30 mm wider, while the new roof lowers the height by around 90 mm to 1,400 mm. This helps to give the E-Bugster its more dynamic and sporty look. The low, swept-back windscreen ensures maximum visibility, as does the wide rear screen, which shows that speedster-style vehicles need not be impractical.
The E-Bugster takes some inspiration from the Ragster concept that made its debut at the 2005 Detroit Show, and which itself inspired the current Beetle.