No doors, no roof, no worries. A huge part of the fun behind the Volkswagen-based dune buggies of the 1960s, such as the classic Meyers Manx, was enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. Sure, not every day at the beach was going to be sunny – but when it was, cruising in a Manx was about as fun as it got.
What if Volkswagen could bring back that open-air feeling, but this time as an electric car? That was the question that spawned the ID.BUGGY concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week, and the answer may be closer to reality than you think.
Built again from the MEB electric-vehicle chassis, the ID.BUGGY combines a 62-kWh battery pack with a 201-hp electric motor driving the rear wheels. On the road, the ID.BUGGY can reach 62 mph from rest in 7.2 seconds and travel up to an estimated 155 miles. But it’s off-road where the ID.BUGGY’s really designed to shine.
First, there are no doors or roof, although the light-up VW logo works as a sign that the ID.BUGGY comes from the electric future. The exterior design draws inspiration from the fiberglass magic of the ‘60s with a dramatic curve upward from front to rear, with off-road tires on 18-inch wheels and increased ground clearance from other MEB concepts. The entire interior was made from a waterproof material, and while there’s an optional sunshade that provides a limited amount of rain cover, the ID.BUGGY is as open-air as the Manx. There’s a minimalistic, weather-resistant digital cockpit and even a playful touch on the pedals, with a “play” arrow on the accelerator and a “pause” symbol on the brake.
And the ID.BUGGY concept isn’t just a curvy car. The original dune buggies were made possible by the construction of the original Volkswagen Beetle, which made it simple to put custom bodywork on top of the Beetle’s running gear. The ID.BUGGY has been designed to help make similar moves possible with the MEB chassis for the first time with a body that can be removed after purchase due to a minimum of tech sensors –which can allow the 21st-century successors of Bruce Meyers to take the ID.BUGGY into new directions.
Officially, the ID.BUGGY is just an idea of how the MEB chassis could produce driving fun, not an actual production vehicle. But the flexibility of Volkswagen’s future electric vehicles mean an electric beach buggy could become a sight on the shores once more.