Newest member of its Blue-e-motion family of concept cars, the Volkswagen E-Bugster made its world debut in Detroit. With its unique sense of style and super-clean electric powertrain, this cheeky exercise in possibility thinking attracted plenty of attention. VW says the "E-Bugster" name is a combination of "E" for electric, "Bug," the historic U.S. nickname for the Beetle, and "speedster," which typically describes an open-top two-seater, but in this case, merely indicates the car's dramatic visual character.
Keys to the E-Bugster's enhanced curbside appeal include unique fascia treatments with LED front running lights and red rear reflector elements in distinctive shapes coupled with a chopped roofline that's nearly three inches lower than a regular Beetle and features a revised C-pillar. More prominently flared fenders, a fully integrated Beetle Turbo-type decklid spoiler, a 20-inch wheel/tire package and "E-Bugster" side-sill graphics round out the tasteful exterior changes. Inside, this electric-powered VW coupe gets its own special instrumentation. An energy consumption display replaces the conventional tachometer with a range indicator, state-of-charge readout and regenerative-braking meter on hand to keep the driver up to speed on all critical EV-related functions.
Motive force for the Volkswagen E-Bugster comes from a 114-horsepower front-mounted electric motor that makes a healthy 199 lb-ft of torque and gets its power from a 695-pound lithium-ion battery pack located under the rear seat and truck floor. VW refers to this combo as its "Blue-e-motion" system and says we can expect to see it in upcoming production models like the soon-to-launch Golf Blue-e-Motion. The E-Bugster can travel over 100 miles on a single charge. In addition to its 120V/240V replenishment capabilities, this zero-emissions VW is equipped to handle a Level 3 commercial unit that can give it an 80-percent replenishment top up in just 30 minutes. The charge port is tucked away under the VW logo on the E-Bugster's hood.
No word on any possible production future for E-Bugster, but we wouldn't bet against seeing an actual open-air Speedster offshoot turn up at an auto show in the not-too-distant future.