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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept

What is it? An electric version of VWs new, new Beetle is the company’s latest Blue e-Motion (electric) concept. Its 700-pound lithium-ion battery pack powers an 85 kW (114 hp) electric motor driving the front wheels and gives the car a claimed electric range of 100 miles. Under the VW logo in the hood is the charge port which can accept all three standard levels of charge: Level 1, 120-volt household power, 240-volt Level 2 dedicated home electric-car charging, and Level 3 DC fast charging.

What is new or notable? Beyond its obvious electric drivetrain, the e-Bugster sports new styling that could be incorporated into future versions of the basic Beetle. The windshield is flatter, more like the iconic original Bug, and the squat roofline has fat C-pillars that likely seriously impede visibility.

CR’s take: In Europe, VW has been serious about improving fuel economy for decades. And it has shown dozens of electric concept cars 
over the years. This latest one may be just trendy enough to be adopted by urban hipsters (with short commutes) looking to make a statement.

Consumer Reports New cars: A to Z

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