Eco Beetle: Electric VW E-Bugster unveiled in Detroit

The new VW Beetle is available to order now, though with none delivered yet (they're due in Spring), VW has chosen the novel new model to show off its new 'leccy powertrain at the Detroit show.

The Volkswagen E-Bugster concept takes a standard Beetle, sees three inches chopped off the roof and 20-inch alloys bunged on each corner to cause passers by to give it a second glance.

Once they're wondering why there are no rear windows and why the roof looks a bit odd they'll see the 'E-Bugster' badge and do some mental maths.The odd-looking Beetle is hiding VW's Blue-e-motion (see what they did there? Yeah, we shuddered too) electric drive system. The setup sees 695lbs of batteries hiding in the back which power a 114bhp, 199lb ft electric motor. VW says it's good for about 100 miles (like a Leaf) and, with a quick charger, can charge to 80 percent (or 80 miles) in just 30 minutes.

The E-Bugster's face and bum have been lightly gone over and the front gets a rather natty LED daytime running light set up.

Inside there's only one change – a new instrument cluster featuring an 'energy consumption display' and battery charge, range and brake regeneration meters.

"But why the Beetle?" we hear none of you ask. Well, because dolling up the Golf that will eventually use the tech is a little pointless now, isn't it? The E-Bugster looks pretty cool, whereas a Golf would be a little... drab.

Once the Golf Blue-e-motion is properly released you can safely expect a VW Beetle, Audi A3 (to be released this year), SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia to follow, too.
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