First, it was the ID Buggy, and now...
Only a few weeks ago, it appeared that Volkswagen was plotting an all-electric off-road SUV, once rumored to be called the ID Ruggdzz. The German automaker had recently trademarked the nameplate I.D. Junglezz, a far more appropriate name for an off-roader than the numerical naming scheme for the VW ID.4 and recently confirmed upcoming ID.6. A 2023 launch was being targeted. Needless to say, our excitement and interest were sincere but now it sadly seems VW doesn't feel the same.
Autocar is reporting that company executives have officially put the Ruggdzz/Junglezz project on the backburner with no rescheduled launch date.
"We've put it in the drawer," said VW CEO Ralf Brandstatter. "That is not to say it won't be built, but I don't think you'll see it soon. We have more important projects on the run."
This is really a shame because the vehicle was our last hope for something off-road-focused ever since the retro-styled ID Buggy was confirmed to remain a concept only. The good news for fans of VW retro design is that the production version of the ID Buzz van concept, likely to be called ID.7, is still due in 2022 and will serve as "a halo car for the brand," according to Brandstatter. The final design is said to very closely resemble that of the concept.
Those who desire an all-electric SUV from VW not only have the new ID.4 but will soon have the high-performance version, dubbed ID.4 GTX. Instead of the base ID.4's 201 horsepower, the GTX will have around 302 hp, faster acceleration, and more aggressive styling. Its off-roading capabilities are likely fairly limited, meaning it'll be no Ford Bronco Sport rival, or what the Junglezz could have been. Additional ID models in the pipeline include the rumored ID.1 and ID.2 city and subcompact hatchbacks, but chances are they'll be overseas-only.
The off-road EV segment is still in its very early stages and, so far, mostly limited to far more expensive vehicles, such as those from Rivian and GMC. It's a shame VW has chosen to sit this one out.