Volkswagen has released a teaser of a familiar looking shape but in a skin a lot more modern and innards that are even more so. Say hello to the classic beach buggy! But it isn't classic anymore. Volkswagen plans to plonk an electric powertrain in there and it will no longer be a VW Beetle with no roof or doors. Taking cues from popular American dune buggies, the concept vehicle is based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). The objective here is not to show off a fancy electric dune buggy but to demonstrate applications the new platform can be used for.
The concept of beach buggy dates back to the 1960s when people took the exterior bits off Volkswagen Beetles and replacing them with bare-bone bodies. The result was a lightweight open-top that only had one objective to serve – fun.
Back then, the Beetle chassis served as the basis for these buggies. And now, Volkswagen says that the MEB platform is proving to be just as flexible. True to the original vehicles, this reinterpretation of a dune buggy has no fixed roof or conventional doors, while the large wheels and off-road tyres and open side sills dominate the overall look.
“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.
With this new concept, VW demonstrates that the MEB platform is not just restricted to mass-market production models but it can also easily be used for low-volume niche vehicles. The latest one-of-a-kind model, the fully electric concept buggy, will be shown for the first time at the 89th International Geneva Motor Show, from March 7-17.