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Our VW e-Brasilia revival has over 330km of range and a 100-liter frunk

Based on the German brand’s MEB platform
ILLUSTRATION: Andrew Guerrero

We’ve selected the ’70s Volkswagen Brasilia as our next old-school car to revive. It’s the more modern-looking Brazilian cousin of the classic Beetle. While not as popular as the Bug, the boxy hatch has its charms.

At present, Volkswagen has begun its slow transitions to zero-emission vehicles. It will stop development of new internal combustion engines and focus more on its electrified future. We wanted our modern Brasilia to fit in the brand’s future portfolio, so we decided to make it an EV called the e-Brasilia, powered by a rear-mounted electric motor feeding power to the rear wheels. It rides on a modified version of the German carmaker’s modular MEB platform and will have a predominantly steel architecture to keep costs down. Lightweight composite materials are used on some body panels to offset a small portion of the battery pack’s added weight. The target is to keep the overall weight below 1,580kg.

Our e-Brasilia measures 4,242mm long, 1,765mm wide, and 1,524mm tall, and has a 2,650mm wheelbase. It rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 205/55 tires. We kept the basic two-box profile of the original Brasilia, but smoothened out the lines. Up front, it gets a modern rendition of the pointed shark-nose design; we blended the classic look with the design language of the ID range of VWs.

Moving on to the sides, black lower cladding and wheel-arch extensions contribute to the low-slung look of the classic model and mask the extra height needed for the battery pack under the passenger floor. Faux vent indentations on the rear quarter recall the side vents of the original model. On the passenger side, the faux vents hide the door of the charging port.

The rear gets hidden door handles to give it the look of the more popular classic three-door model. Like the front end, the back of the concept blends classic Brasilia styling with some VW ID-inspired design cues. The black dimpled panel on the bottom of the rear bumper mimics the exhaust grille of the air-cooled Brasilia.

On the practical side, our e-Brasilia has a 360-liter cargo area behind the split-folding rear seats and a 100-liter frunk. Unlike the new electric Volkswagen ID models, we were able to give it a front cargo area by relocating the HVAC unit behind the dashboard and lengthening the nose slightly.

Powering our e-Brasilia is an electric motor that produces 148hp and 275Nm of torque. It has a 55kWh 350-volt battery pack positioned under the floor. Estimated range on a full charge is over 330km. Theoretically, it should be able to accelerate from zero to 100kph in under 9sec. Top Speed is electronically limited to 160kph.

For its pricing, our target is to make the e-Brasilia an alternative to compact hybrids like the Corolla Cross Hybrid (P1.65 million) and the Corolla Altis Hybrid (P1.595 million). Would you consider the e-Brasilia if Volkswagen builds it in the future? Let us know in the comments.

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ILLUSTRATION: Andrew Guerrero
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