Volkswagen is rapidly expanding its electric car production and development facilities, and has ambitious plans for the future of its electrified lineup. The firm recently showcased an electric buggy concept to showcase its electric car platform’s versatility.
One of the niftiest features of the original Volkswagen Beetle was that its chassis could be used to underpin all sorts of body types. From kit cars to dune buggies to dragsters, people have modified thousands of Beetles into different customs.
Meyers Manx, the car that started the buggy fever.
History of the Volkswagen Buggy
Perhaps the most famous adaptation of the Beetle was the “Meyers Manx”, an open buggy designed and built by Bruce Meyers that went on to win Baja California in 1967. Meyers set a record racing through the desert from Tijuana to La Paz, popularizing the car on the Western seaboard. Up until the 1980s, around 250,000 Beetle-based vehicles were built worldwide as one-offs or in low volumes.
Cashing in on the Beetle’s nostalgia card, Volkswagen teased an all-new electric buggy based on its MEB platform. Even though the images are supposed to be teasers, they disclose a lot of crucial information for the vehicle. There are no doors or roof, and the wheels are shod in blocky off-road tyres. The side sills are open, and the electric buggy features LED lighting all around.
Volkswagen hasn’t given any range or powertrain information regarding the concept, but it looks like a fun car to drive around, thanks to its cheeky design. Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen, said: “A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels. These attributes are embodied by the new e-buggy, which demonstrates how a modern, non-retro interpretation of a classic can look and, more than anything else, the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.”
Volkswagen will build the ID Buggy in limited numbers just to showcase the flexibility of the MEB platform.
Electric buggy with MEB underpinnings
This reinterpretation of the original Volkswagen buggy sits on the company’s all-new modular and scalable MEB platform. MEB underpins all of the Volkswagen ID cars, and as such proves to be a flexible architecture. Through the ID Buggy, Volkswagen aims to showcase that MEB is not just meant for large-scale series production vehicles. An electric buggy such as this would appeal to a very limited audience, effectively detailing how MEB can also underpin specialized limited-production models.
The Volkswagen ID Buggy will debut at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show, 7th March 2019.