Is Volkswagen considering giving the Beetle an electric reboot?
The electric Beetle concept was first noticed in poster art for the upcoming film Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir — The Movie.
In it the major characters are seen posing front of their vehicles, all from the Volkswagen brand. While the unnamed Beetle EV concept takes centre stage, there are also the ID. Buzz, ID. Crozz, and ID. Vizzion concepts in the background.
Then internet users, Instagrammers, and YouTubers — including Paris Videostars, where we grabbed these screenshots from — spotted a real-life version of that Beetle concept on a Paris street outside a launch event for the first movie based on the Miraculous cartoon series.
It seems as though the car sitting on the Parisian street is just a design mock-up because the headlights and tail-lights are painted on, as are the doors and windows.
For the movie, the Beetle EV has full-height glass doors, a glass roof, round LED lights, illuminated badges, and a red and black ladybug paint scheme.
Inside there are three form-fitting seats laid out like in a McLaren F1, with the driver sitting in the middle.
Should Volkswagen decide to bring the electric Beetle to life, it will likely ride on the MEB architecture, which will allow the model to return to its rear-wheel drive roots.
The original car, designed by Ferdinand Porsche and funded by the Nazi regime in Germany, went into production in 1938 with a rear-mounted four-cylinder boxer engine, but it didn’t become an icon or a sales success until after World War II.
While the two modern takes on the Beetle, launched in 1997 and 2010 respectively, aped the ladybug shape of the original, they were based on contemporary versions of the Golf. This meant they featured a transversely mounted engine up front driving the front wheels.
The MEB EV architecture underpins everything from the Golf-sized ID.3 through to the ID.Buzz people mover and ID.7 family sedan, as well as various Skoda, Audi and Cupra models.
Lower-spec MEB cars have a single motor across the rear axle making anywhere between 110kW and 150kW.
It’s unclear if Volkswagen has plans on more fully exploring the Beetle EV concept or, even, plans to put it into production.
In 2022 Herbert Diess, then CEO of the Volkswagen, stated he wanted to build “emotional” cars on the MEB architecture. Hopefully his successor Oliver Blume shares the same desire.