Ever since Volkswagen announced plans to make , we've wondered if the automaker would do the same with the Beetle. As it turns out, it might: Earlier this week, that VW is considering building an electric, four-door Beetle, and our colleagues at .
Certainly, VW executives have a new electric Beetle on their minds. Last November, VW brand chief Herbert Deiss—a strong advocate for the modern electric Microbus—floated a Beetle EV as a possibility. He also said a future Beetle be rear-wheel drive, just like the original, and unlike the both versions of the modern, front-engine Beetle.
The current-generation Beetle will end production in the near future, and VW doesn't have a direct replacement for it. In 2020, Volkswagen will launch , the first car to ride on its new EV platform, and will arrive in 2022. So, if the Beetle were to make a return as an electric car, we probably wouldn't see it until after 2022 at the very earliest.
, VW design Klaus Bischoff confirmed that his team has sketched out concepts for a four-door Beetle riding on the same platform as the I.D. hatch, but nothing beyond that. He says VW needs to focus hard on getting volume-selling EVs to market before it can consider a new Beetle.
The idea of a four-door Beetle is interesting. While a purist might prefer a two-door, the addition of rear doors could give the Beetle much broader appeal—the same way Mini expanded sales by introducing four-door variants of its own retro-inspired cars.