More and more brands do not hesitate to provide their iconic models of the past with an electric power train.

The full story is in AutoWeek 40, which is in stores this week.

For example, you can turn to Jaguar to convert the famous 1960s E-Type into an electric car, while Aston Martin offers a similar treatment for 'future-proofing'. The legendary Beetle has been redesigned at Volkswagen. Sacrilege? AutoWeek already made a ride with a test sample.

To discover whether a Beetle Cabriolet that has been converted into an electric car has just as much charm as the original version, a poison-green 1303 Cabriolet has been included in the introduction to the e-Käfer, as the new version is called. The copy of the Volkswagen museum is an American version, with thick bumpers, an injection engine and thus a single exhaust pipe instead of the usual two.

In the front, it smells of gasoline from the breather hose, and the boxer engine in the rear just excludes it while driving. Then he happily jumps on again without grumbling, after all, it is a beetle. You do not need a radio in this car, because of the engine noise you do not hear anything of it, but nevertheless enjoyment is blown into this car.

In this Volkswagen you still have to do old-fashioned hoops, since power steering is missing. You also have to press the brake pedal on time, because the brake system is really lousy. The electric beetle, on the other hand, does not drop stitches, which is equipped with modern technology.

Do you have just as much fun in a new electric Beetle as in an old one? (Photo: Volkswagen)

Conversion is quite a job

The e-Käfer has the technology of the new e-Up. The Volkswagen Component department supplies the parts from the series production, or the electric motor with 82 hp and the single-speed gearbox as well as the battery system.

The 36.8 kWh battery pack gives the electric Beetle a driving range of 220 to 250 kilometers, depending on the driving style. The car can be recharged up to 50 kW, giving you another 150 kilometers after an hour.

It is quite a job to assemble all these things in the beetle. All body panels such as the front cover and the bonnet, the mudguards and the doors must be dismantled.

Then 26 screws have to be loosened so that the 'house' can be lifted off the bottom plate. Because you often see the traces the rust devil has left behind, the car then goes to the eClassics company in Renningen near Stuttgart. This Volkswagen cooperation partner specializes in the restoration of vintage cars.

Without a body, the car is unrecognizable as a beetle. (Photo: Volkswagen)

Price can add up quickly

What do you pay for this ecologically responsible old-timer fun? In Germany you pay for the complete package with electric motor, transmission, the batteries, springs, dampers and the braking system of a Porsche 924, an amount of 39,900 euros.

EClassics requires 10,000 euros for installation in a good, rust-free Beetle Cabriolet. If no good beetle is available, the company will completely rebuild the classic itself. That will cost you another 50,000 euros, but then you will get a luxurious, beautifully converted car.

Then you have to admit that the characteristic rumbling of the combustion engine is missing. In addition, and that may well be sacrilege, the electric motor is not in the back, where it belongs in a beetle, but in the front.

Painful sight for the purist, that empty back of the e-Käfer. (Photo: Volkswagen)

The full story is in AutoWeek 40, which is in stores this week.