While the Volkswagen E-Bugster concept debuted wearing a removable hardtop, this week the concept takes a topless bow at the Beijing Motor Show. The E-Bugster hints at the upcoming Beetle Cabriolet as well as the automaker’s electric drivetrains.
The E-Bugster concept is powered by a 114-hp electric motor capable of a leisurely 10.9 second stroll to 60 mph from a standstill. A 28.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack supplies enough juice for a 110 mile range, the automaker claims. The E-Bugster can be recharged via a specialist DC source—in 35 minutes—or longer from a 230-volt AC outlet. Kinetic energy during coasting and regenerative braking also recharges the battery pack.
Power regeneration, driving range, battery state, and power usage information is displayed on the instrument cluster.
Front and rear bumpers have C-shaped LED daytime running lights that flank the center air intake. Compared to the stock Beetle, Volkswagen lowered the top of the windshield 3.5 inches and stuffed 20-inch wheels in the 1.2-inch wider fenders for a more aggressive stance.
Shanghai Volkswagen is also showing the New Lavida at the Beijing auto show. The small Lavida sedan has been one of the best selling vehicles in China, with more than 700,000 units sold since its June 2008 launch. Three engines and four trim levels are available for the redesigned Lavida.
New Urumqi Plant
Volkswagen has also announced a $225 million investment to build a plant in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang province, Reuters reports. The new plant, a joint venture with local partner Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), is the first for the German automaker in western China and will be capable of producing 50,000 cars when it goes online in 2015. VW-SAIC also plans to build a new plant in Yizheng near China’s wealthy eastern coast. The Yisheng plant will be much larger—capable of building up to 300,000 cars a year.