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Volkswagen Teases New Dune Buggy Concept

Teaser / 5 Comments

This could be coolest EV yet.

Back in the 1960s and 70s, Americans converted Volkswagen Beetles into dune buggies for all sorts of off-roading and beach fun. Those dune buggies and their old school Beetle chassis are now classics, and VW knows this full and well.

Set to debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March is a new dune buggy concept, which has been teased in a pair of images. But unlike the originals, this reborn dune buggy is all-electric. It's based on the German automaker's new MEB electric vehicle platform, which will also underpin the upcoming I.D. lineup.

"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," states Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at Volkswagen.

Like the original Beetle's chassis, VW also wants to prove its state-of-the-art all-electric platform is just as flexible. The new concept appears to be true to the original with no fixed roof or even doors. Also notice its large wheels and off-road tires. It's still way too early to know whether the reborn dune buggy will make production, but VW did specifically hint that MEB "has the potential to facilitate the development of low-volume niche vehicles." Pictured below are images of the 2011 Buggy Up concept that never made production.

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Now that the latest Beetle is being discontinued, VW is without a retro vehicle to sell. Could an all-electric dune buggy fit the bill? Or, could a production version of the I.D. Buzz concept, which is inspired by the also iconic minibus, be chosen instead? Heck, why not build both to fully demonstrate the platform's capabilities? A production-spec dune buggy EV could also be instrumental in demonstrating how instant torque at all four wheels can provide all sorts of off-road shenanigans.