Volkswagen considering plans for electric, rear-wheel-drive Beetle

Plans for an electric, rear-wheel-drive successor to today's Beetle are under consideration at Volkswagen according to Autocar. The EV Beetle would be covered under a range of zero-emissions models based on its new MEB (Modular Electric Baukasten) platform, according to the German car maker's chairman, Herbert Diess.

Diess told Autocar that his company is seriously considering development of an electric Beetle and it is not because EVs are being considered as the future of transportation.

Diess noted that a Beetle EV would, paradoxically, be "much closer to history", with the company's new electric platform (MEB) being very flexible, and it could return to the rear-wheel drive of the original model.

This could also raise the possibility of reviving the original's front storage space.

Also it would be very much in line with the company's inaugural ID Buzz concept of a rear-wheel drive hatchback from this year's Detroit Motor Show. It could, however, repurpose that powertrain for the Beetle's retro coupe chassis as the current Beetle is essentially a Golf coupe.

The ID generates the equivalent of 168HP and gets up to 370 miles on a charge.

A firmer decision is expected when the company board votes on ways to expand its fledgling electric car strategy beyond the 15 models planned so far (only five of which will carry the VW-badge).

However, according to commentators, it is hard to imagine VW not coming out with an electric Beetle. The Beetle is virtually synonymous with VW, and an EV edition of the car could serve as a flagship that draws customers into showrooms, they point out.