Volkswagen reanimates the Dune Buggy for Geneva
1 February 2019 - Autoblog
The Buggy is back as an electric concept
Volkswagen's electric MEB platform enables it to build new retro-inspired vehicles, such as a rethought version of the classic microbus that's already in the pipeline. The original buses had a strong California-based following, so it only makes sense that VW would give life to another '60s beach life classic — the Dune Buggy.
The original '60s dune buggies, like the Meyers Manx and other similar creations were simply based on the Beetle's floorpan and mechanicals, with a shapely fiberglass concoction on top and nothing unnecessary left on. This new concept, which VW says it will show at Geneva this spring, is following the same recipe, but utilizing VW's new electric tech to show just how the MEB stretches to make low-volume builds feasible in the future. The airy design with its swoopy fenders and knobbly tires looks like a successful update of the original idea — we wonder if VW has tested the vehicle at a Wolfsburg sandpit yet.
Volkswagen has released two design sketches of the buggy; despite bathing in green light in the sketch, it's not necessarily greenlit — as VW says it's a one-off. Rather, it serves as a hint that the MEB platform does enable the creation of wacky stuff, perhaps in the aftermarket scene. Like VW states: "The new MEB concept vehicle shows that this fully electric platform can be used for more than just large-scale series production models. Like the Beetle chassis of yesteryear, the MEB has the potential to facilitate the development of low-volume niche vehicles."
VW's head designer, Klaus Bischoff, says of the buggy's impact: "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."