Diesel-powered VW Beetle, all-electric Up U.S.-boundby Drew Johnson
Although Volkswagen's press conference at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show only featured two vehicles - the Final Edition of the New Beetle and the Up Lite concept - it turned out to be a fitting display for the automaker's future U.S. plans.
Volkswagen Group of America President Stefan Jacoby revealed the German automaker has some pretty interesting U.S. plans for both vehicles. VW is planning to bring a diesel version of the New Beetle to the U.S. market and is also planning to sell an all-electric version of its Up hatchback here, according to Automotive News.
Although technically called the New Beetle, the new-age Bug is far from what its nameplate might suggest. The New Beetle has been on the market relative unchanged since 1998, but an all-new model is in the works for 2012. When that new model bows for the United States, it will likely offer a clean diesel option.
Jacoby also revealed that the U.S. will receive an all-electric version of the company's Up hatchback. VW ruled out a gas-only version of the Up for the U.S., but hasn't closed the door on other Up variants. "This is a study to find out whether customers have an interest in very low fuel consumption," Ulrich Hackenberg, head of technical development for VW, said of the Up Lite concept. "For American customers, it's very important to present themselves as green." LA's Up Lite concept feature a diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain and the promise of 70mpg.