Even though things were looking increasingly bad for the Beetle, rumors of an electric version kindled a small flame. However, those have all been snuffed out by Research and Development chief Frank Welsch.
The current generation of the car was launched in 2011, gained a convertible version in 2014 and a facelift in 2016. So we think it can stay in production for at least a year because its engines have been continuously updated. But it rides on a platform that traces its roots to the Golf 5.
It seems that Welsch wanted to make the Beetle’s death as clear as possible, as his statements extended past the MQB platform. Volkswagen has far more important things to do than a Beetle EV, based on the MEB platform.
If it’s a retro-looking VW with a plug you’re after, the I.D. Buzz should become the spiritual successor to the Type 2 when it enters production in 2022.
“With MEB, you can do a bus and be an authentic vehicle with the original shape, and steering wheel mounted like the original,” said Welsch. “You can’t do that with an engine in the front. The shape you see on the concept is realistic.”
We’re honestly more excited about the I.D. Crozz, which looks a bit like the BMW X4. That one will be ready two years before the Buzz. Coincidence?
Volkswagen had pretty much nothing to show in Geneva other than the I.D. Vizzion, a preview for a 400-mile flagship electric sedan to rival Tesla. With all that on its table, Volkswagen is too busy for the Beetle, which hasn’t been selling all that well.
But not too busy to replace the Beetle Convertible with something else. The company has confirmed a roofless version of its T-Roc crossover.