VW May Turn Beetle into a Sub-Brand, Add Bulli, SUV and Coupe Models

With 120,000 Beetles sold in 2013, VW is reportedly planning to expand the retro-styled lineup with new models, turning the Beetle name into a sub-brand. The German automaker has confirmed that it is working on new Beetle models, including a modern take on the VW Microbus based on the Beetle platform.

According to a report from Auto Bild, VW wants to profit from the Beetle’s cult image by launching new models such as the VW Bulli, previewed by the 2011 namesake study. However, the Bulli won’t arrive before 2019, when VW will launch a new generation of the Beetle.

The five-passenger van will be longer and taller than the Beetle and will source parts from the Touran and the Golf Sportsvan. The Bulli will be available with 4Motion all-wheel drive as well as with a newly developed supercharged three-cylinder engine. There could also be an electric drive model.

Besides the Bulli, VW is said to be working a sporty Beetle Coupe, which will combine styling cues from the Beetle Dune and E-Bugster concepts, while also looking back at historical Beetles for inspiration. The Beetle Coupe will feature a high beltline, narrow windows and a distinctive roof. It will be powered by a 300 hp gasoline engine in its sportiest iteration and will feature all-wheel drive.

Finally, the Beetle could also spawn an SUV version with a higher ground clearance and off-road styling. It will be available with all-wheel drive and even a hybrid setup.

By Dan Mihalascu

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