Roofless Volkswagen E-Bugster Electric Concept At Beijing Auto Show

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Not everyone is a fan of the classic Volkswagen Bug, but nobody can deny that it's an icon.

It was certainly no surprise when Volkswagen decided to launch a re-make back in 1998, nor that it would be replaced with the current 2012 Volkswagen Beetle.

VW brought the concept even further into the 21st Century with the E-Bugster concept shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, and the firm is now previewing a convertible version of the electric car at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show in China.

The concept serves two purposes. One is to preview the look of the future Beetle Cabriolet, and the other is to demonstrate VW's commitment to electric drivetrains.

The E-Bugster uses a 113-horsepower electric motor to power the front wheels, with a range of 110 miles from its 28.3 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. A fast charge can replenish the range in around 35 minutes.

Like many other electric cars, the E-Bugster uses regenerative deceleration and braking to provide a little extra range, and the instrument panel contains all the typical information you'd require from an EV, such as range, battery state, and the levels of current energy use and regeneration.

In terms of styling, the E-Bugster is clearly very similar to the current Beetle, albeit just over an inch wider thanks to flared wheel arches. It's also 3.5 inches lower, with a chopped windscreen giving the car a 'speedster' look. Naturally, a few concept car touches alter the styling from the production car, including narrow LED light bars in the front bumper, echoed at the back with red reflectors.

The 2012 Beijng Auto Show opens to the press today. Stay tuned for more news on green cars from the show.

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