Last year, we reported on Volkswagen’s exciting announcement that they’d be re-imaging the VW Microbus – grabbing that nostalgia-inducing hippie van from the memory banks of so many Baby Boomers and thrusting it onto the streets of today – modified, of course, to reflect the current auto trend away from gas and towards batteries.
While the Microbus project, nicknamed ID Buzz, is still in the works, Volkswagen has been busy with other innovations – namely, killing off another of its iconic models. That’s right, in March, the company said the Volkswagen Beetle would not have a place in its 2019 line.
At the Geneva Auto Show this spring, it was reported that VW’s head of R&D said two or three generations of the modern Beetle were enough, and that those customers looking for a “heritage” offering from the automaker could stay tuned for the aforementioned electric Microbus.
But before you Beetlemaniacs shed too many tears, it appears the company may not quite be ready to say goodbye. Autocar is reporting that VW is already talking about re-imagining the Beetle – and the engine is not even cold yet!
The company’s execs are alluding to a potential plan to include the Beetle in their upcoming family of electric vehicles – modeled on the company’s MEB flexible EV architecture – but don’t hold your breath: the decision is two or three years out, according to design head Klaus Bischoff.
But, hypothetically, of course, the Beetle would find itself on the smallest of the MEB platforms – the ID hatchback. The size of that wheelbase would allow for enough space to double the number of doors on what’s traditionally been a coupe. The other big change would be taking the model back to its rear-wheel-drive roots – just like the original Type 1 that debuted in 1945.
The company is hoping to leverage the emotional value of some of these longstanding models, and this might just do it. So, while they say the decision is years away, it does seem likely we might see this old-and-new Beetle model someday down the line.