The Volkswagen Beetle as it stands today will die, but VW may have different plans for the iconic nameplate in the future.
According to Autocar, the German brand may bring the Beetle back as a four-door electric car. Underpinning the reborn Beetle would be VW’s MEB platform, which can suit numerous body types for electric cars. MEB could also return the Beetle to a rear-wheel drive layout like the original car.
Numerous new electric cars from VW will boast the MEB “toolkit,” including the ID hatchback, ID Buzz microbus, ID Crozz, and possibly an electric sedan based on the ID Vizzion concept.
The brand’s boss, Herbert Diess, has called for more “emotional” cars in recent months, and the first will be the reborn microbus. An electric Beetle would further answer the executive’s call, though the project hasn’t received a green light from upper management yet, according to the report.
VW design chief Klaus Bischoff told Autocar the brand is focused on launching volume-selling electric-car models first before tackling any more expressive designs like a new Beetle.
“These cars have super-complicated technology and if you do too much, it’s an overload. Then we [can] move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion,” he said.
Bischoff added that a new Beetle sitting on the MEB platform wouldn’t compromise functionality like the current two-door car does. He noted an electric Beetle model would likely feature the space of the ID hatchback, but keep the former’s well-known shape.
“You have plenty of room so there’s no compromise in functionality anymore. So it could be a very attractive car,” Bischoff said.
The design chief said he’s already completed a design sketch of what could be the next-generation Beetle, but it will likely take two to three years before VW even decides on putting the car into production.
A version of this story originally appeared on Hybrid Cars.