If you are a fan of classic cars who is also eager to embrace modern all-electric powertrains, there’s been some encouraging news of late. It was around this time last year that Jaguar announced that it will offer all-electric versions of its legendary E-types for sale. Combining its restoration expertise with tech from the Jaguar I-PACE, Jaguar Classic now offers tailor-made E-types restored and converted to electric power, dubbed E-type Zero. Now, another classic is on its way to getting the electric retrofit treatment.
Volkswagen Group Components, a unit of Volkswagen AG, in partnership with eClassics, has revealed an all-electric version of the historic Volkswagen Beetle in concept form. Converted using components from current series production cars, the electric drive, the 1-speed gearbox and the battery system of the electric Beetle concept are based on the new VW e-up! A near-production version of the e-Beetle will be shown at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt next week.
“The electrified Beetle combines the charm of our classic car with the mobility of the future. Innovative e- components from Volkswagen Group Components are under the bonnet – we work with them to electrify historically important vehicles, in what is an emotional process,” says Thomas Schmall, member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components. “We are also providing Beetle owners with a professional conversion solution, using production parts of the highest quality,” he adds.
The e-Beetle’s electric drive has an output of 60kW, or 82 horsepower. The battery system is built into the underbody and consists of up to 14 modules, each with a capacity of 2.6 kWh. The chassis and braking system have undergone adaptation and reinforcement due to the additional weight of electrification. However, Volkswagen claims that despite the new total weight of 1,280 kg, the e-Beetle accelerates to 50kph in just under four seconds and to 80km in just over eight seconds.
The range of the e-Beetle, which reaches top speeds of up to 150kph, is 200 km. The system allows fast charging that lets the battery be juiced up with enough energy for a range of over 150km after charging for around an hour. The use of the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) is also being considered to increase performance and range.
The e-Beetle concept will form the basis of the subsequent electrification of other historic vehicles under the Volkswagen group. “We are already working together to prepare the platform for the Bus. An e-Porsche 356 could also be pursued in the future,” says Schmall.
More details will be revealed at the e-Beetle's official debut at next week's Frankfurt motor show.