There are plenty of folks out there — and you may be one of them — who refuses to believe the Volkswagen Beetle will stay dead forever. It’s the backbone of the German automaker’s identity, it stayed in production in one form or other for over eighty years. When news emerged that VW planned to drop the A5 generation in 2019 and the company launched a “Final Edition”, many speculated that Wolfsburg could bring the car back as a pure-electric vehicle.
Now, thanks to a member of VWIDTalk, Volkswagen may ultimately design a so-called ‘e-Beetle’, as well as a host of other EV models. They spotted a series of trademark applications through the Eruopean Union Intellectual Property Office Thursday. Among the potential trademarks were ‘e-Beetle’, ‘e-Karmann’, ‘e-Kübel’ and the ‘e-Golf Classic’. The applications are in German, but among the potential uses for the names, VW could build and market any and all types of vehicles, including modern interpretations of foregone icons like the Beetle, the Karmann Ghia or the “Kübelwagen”, which we knew here in the U.S. as the Volkswagen Thing.
To be clear, as we have on trademarks in the past, Volkswagens’ intent to secure the names doesn’t necessarily translate to actual vehicles. The automaker is currently planning to transition into its “ID” line of electric vehicles, including the ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 crossover, so it may choose to use that nomenclature moving forward. If anything, the company could bring out an ‘e-Beetle Concept’ to gauge public enthusiasm before going full bore on reviving the Beetle.
Since Volkswagen, as any other manufacturer, does not comment on future product until it’s ready, we’ll have to wait and see. Particularly as the idea is nebulous as a simple trademark application, it may be months or even years before we see something along the lines of an e-Beetle — if it happens at all.
Another approach – EV retrofit?
Back in 2019, Volkswagen did bring a near-production concept ‘e-Beetle’ to the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. The idea there was to introduce the concept of electrifying many different historic vehicles, including the iconic People’s Car. As the Beetle is still a much beloved classic and European regulations continue to mount against the internal combustion engine, perhaps Volkswagen is securing these names in pursuit of extending the lives of classic cars, or just modernizing classic designs with modern electric drivetrains.
Speaking of classic Beetles, check out our experience with this 1971 classic Super Beetle below: