A Chinese company has cloned and reengineered a Beetle. Not the insect, but The Bug.
Battery-powered carmaker VIDOEV unveiled a Volkswagen Beetle lookalike today at the Shandong electric vehicle expo, and doubled down by making it a four-door.
Aside from that, it has all of the Beetle’s signature styling cues, including an arched roofline, bulging fenders and round headlights. Even the dashboard is the spitting image of the current Beetle’s design.
VIDOEV only builds low-speed electric vehicles, and China Car News reports that the motor in this one has just 28 horsepower and is fed by a low tech lead-acid battery pack, so it likely won’t be going very fast or very far. At least the motor is located in the rear like the original Beetle’s was.
The Chinese auto industry is notorious for building knockoffs of foreign vehicles. Even the Chevrolet Colorado and Ford F-150 have served as inspiration for the local brands. Volkswagen hasn’t yet commented on the VIDOEV, but legal recourse has been hard to come by in the country, and most automakers end up looking the other way when this happens to them, confident that customers will pay more for the real deal.
How much more? An authentic, conventional VW Beetle costs about $32,000 in China, while the VIDOEV will list for $16,000 when it goes on sale next year.
Twice the doors for half the price? It might not be as good of a deal as that sounds.