Volkswagen is killing the Beetle off, but for hardcore fans of the Bug, there’s some encouraging news from the Stuttgart carmaker. At the Geneva motor show in March this year, VW will reveal an all-electric dune buggy that takes cues from popular American buggies from the Sixties and the Seventies. While news of a new dune buggy is by itself exciting, what’s of more importance with this announcement is that the concept will be based on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform. So while we might not see this roofless, retro concept go into production, it opens up the prospect of this architecture spawning several low volume niche vehicles, much like how the Beetle chassis was used by companies such as Hebmüller, Rometsch or by Bruce F. Meyers for his Meyers Manx. Through the Eighties, around 250,000 individual vehicles were built as one-offs or at low volumes based on the Beetle chassis.
“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” says Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at Volkswagen. “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,” he adds.
True to the Sixties’ buggies of California, this electric reinterpretation has no fixed roof or conventional doors, with large wheels wearing off-road tyres and open side sills.
The concept will be recvealed on March 5, ahead of the 89th International Geneva Motor Show, which runs from March 7 to 17.
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