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VW E-Bugster concept gallery shows off electric Beetle

There's a new concept Beetle that doesn't run on the carbon-belching, fossilised remains of plants that have been dead for millenia! Yay!

Rory Reid
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Volkswagen Beetles have traditionally run on 'flower power', and by that we mean the carbon-belching, fossilised remains of plants that have been dead for millenia.

That tradition may soon come to an end, however, thanks to the new E-Bugster concept -- an all-electric version of the VW Beetle that runs on the stuff that comes out of your mains socket at home. 

Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (that's the Detroit Motor Show to you) the two-seater E-Bugster does away with the standard car's internal combustion engine in favour of an 85kWh motor and some lithium-ion batteries.

It's roughly the same length and width as a standard Beetle, but its roof is 30mm lower, which means it looks sportier and cuts through the air with greater ease. Don't expect it to shred any tarmac, though. It'll accelerate from 0-60mph in a yawn-inducing 10.9 seconds, so it'll get left for dead even by the snail-like Nissan Leaf.

The car's batteries are slightly larger than those in a Leaf, but again, don't expect miracles here. VW says it'll go for "at least" 110 miles, which should be enough for most daily commutes. The company says it can be topped up in 35 minutes if you have access to a fast charger. Recharging from an ordinary mains outlet will likely take several hours.

The E-Bugster features some novel touches inside and out. The front bumper has a funky LED light strip, while inside, the instrument cluster "pulses with light", which spreads in a millimetre-wide strip along the doors and air vents.

It certainly looks very sexy and it definitely appeals to our inner Bob Marley, but don't expect this thing will be pounding any real-world tarmac any time soon, as it's very much a concept. Have a look through our photo gallery and let us know what you think down in the primordial ooze of the comments, or over on our neolithic Facebook page.

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