THE BEETLE'S BACK... AND IT'S ELECTRIC!
• VW has teamed up with German firm eClassics to future-proof old Beetles
• The conversion kit is the electric motor, battery and gearbox from the VW e-Up!
• It puts out 81bhp, accelerates to 50mph in 8 secs and has a top speed of 93mph
• The claimed range is 124 miles and it can be charged to 75% capacity in an hour
Just when you thought the Volkswagen Beetle had gone for good, it's made a comeback - and it's not like we've ever seen it before.
Production of the original Bug came to an end in July, when the final example rolled off the Puebla factory assembly line in Mexico.
It ended a chapter of production that began back in 1938, with a total of 21 million Beetles built throughout the car's history.
However, it's taken Volkswagen just a month to prolong the life of its most iconic model, with the availability of a conversion kit that will transform the classic Beetle into a new-age electric car that you can charge at home.
Beetle owners now have the chance to future-proof their vehicles by swapping out the internal-combustion engine and replacing it with a battery and electric motor.
Volkswagen has teamed up with specialist firm eClassics based in Germany to provide the official conversion kit, though vehicles will need to be transported there for it to be installed.
The company will extract the Beetle's air-cooled flat-four-cylinder engine and replace it with the electric drivetrain from the existing e-up! city car, including the single-speed gearbox.
This does bulk-up the Beetle's weight somewhat.
A conventional classic Bug tips the scales at around 800kg, while an electrified version measures in at closer to 1,300kg, which is around the same as a Ford Fiesta.
But despite the added mass it will be far sprightlier to drive that one with a petrol motor.
The 81bhp electric power source should make the Bug accelerate from a standstill to 50mph in eight seconds and onto a top speed of 93mph.
The claimed range between charges is 124 miles, and the conversion kit used allows for fast charging at available plug-in points.
This means the batteries can be boosted up to 75 per cent capacity in around an hour.
The removal of the rear-mounted petrol engine from the car also means the Beetle - for the first time ever - offers a usable amount of boot space.
No price has been revealed for the conversion, with details being withheld until this gorgeous Cabriolet conversion car is presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.
It has been reported that eClassics and VW will also work together on future electric takes on the legendary Camper and even the 365 sports car and could begin using parts from Volkswagen's upcoming I.D. range of electric vehicles, which promise much longer driving distances and shorter charge times.
This isn't the first time brands have offered to electrify their iconic models.
Jaguar will convert a Jaguar E-Type into an EV for the sum of £350,000. The launch car for the Jaguar Classic project was even used by Harry and Meghan to drive to their wedding reception last year.