Volkswagen is teasing a new electric dune buggy that they plan to unveil in Geneva this March.
The original dune buggies which became famous in the ‘60s and ‘70s were built around the chassis and powertrain of the ubiquitous Volkswagen Beetle. After stripping off the doors, tailgate, and the entire body, all that was left was a steel frame, floor, and mechanical components.
Then some enterprising individuals would slap on an ultra-lightweight fiberglass body with zero doors and call it a day.
After the very first dune buggy arrived thanks to Bruce Meyers in 1964, copycat designs popped up all over the world turning it into the beach icon that it remains to this very day.
And now Volkswagen is tapping into that ‘70s charm with their brand new electric dune buggy.
Modeled after the classic dune buggies of old, VW’s new design “conveys what it means to simply get behind the wheel and drive,” according to their press release. It keeps all the classic dune buggy features, such as a lack of roof, doors, and virtually any safety equipment, and also adds chunky off-road tires as well as some beefy suspension to handle the biggest dunes a California beach can produce.
“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” says Klaus Bischoff, chief 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.”
Everything is built on VW’s new modular electric drive matrix (MEB), an electric platform that the German automaker says is flexible enough to be used on mass-volume vehicles or special one-offs like this dune buggy.
We can likely expect to see even more from Volkswagen’s MEB platform as the company continues to replace its diesel lineup with electric cars.
The new VW dune buggy will be unveiled on March 5th during Volkswagen’s press conference at the Geneva Motor Show.