How can a bright-green, futuristic dune buggy not plaster a massive smile across your face? VW just debuted a fully electric ID Buggy concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The best part: It’s not so far fetched to think it might be produced someday!
The VW ID Buggy concept vehicle is the latest in a line of all-electric concept vehicles VW has rolled out since 2016. And there’s one constant among all these concepts: a versatile, fully electric chassis.
That chassis is the MEB, which is somehow short for “modular electric drive matrix.” And this latest dune buggy concept is further proof that this chassis can handle whatever crazy idea VW throws at it.
Sitting under the ID Buggy concept, the MEB chassis has a 62 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 201hp electric motor in the rear. This powertrain configuration is good for a 155-mile range and a 0-62 mph sprint in 7.2 seconds. While not earth-shattering performance, those stats should offer plenty of fun in this rough-and-tumble package!
Volkswagen ID Buggy: Inspiration From the Past
The VW ID Buggy concept draws its inspiration from the classic California dune buggies of the 1960s. The Meyers Manx, in particular, was a big influence on this design.
Versatile underpinnings are what tie the classics to the future. The 1960s buggies were built on the VW Beetle platform while the buggies of the future might be built on the all-electric MEB chassis.
VW ID Buggy: Versatility
Just like the highly customized and infinitely unique dune buggies of the past, the ID Buggy is also designed to be versatile. The concept is an RWD setup, but an AWD system can easily work on the MEB chassis with a front electric motor. The ID Buggy is a two-seater, but rear seats can easily be added.
The real genius is the ability to remove the composite buggy body from the MEB chassis. This opens up a world of possibilities for third-party manufacturers — or garage mechanics — to create new, unique body styles and vehicle configurations.
VW ID Dune Buggy of Tomorrow
This little two-seat, open-top, doorless, rear-wheel-drive, fully electric dune buggy concept is all about fun. It offers a fully weatherproof interior and a simple digital cockpit. While it has no doors, a reinforced windscreen frame and a Targa bar protect occupants during rollovers.
The VW ID Buggy also has some serious off-road chops. It has impressively good entry and departure angles and a full 9.4 inches of ground clearance.
An aluminum undercarriage guard and side sills offer off-road impact protection. And big off-road tires will help it keep moving in any terrain. If it does get stuck, there are integrated steel recovery eyelets in the bumpers.
VW ID Buggy Concept
- Electric drivetrain: Rear-mounted electric motor with 62kWh battery
- Performance: 201 hp, 228 lb-ft torque, 155-mile range, 0-62 mph in 7.2 seconds, 99mph top speed (electronically limited)
- Dimensions: 160” L x 74.4” W x 57.6” H with 104.3” wheelbase & 9.4” ground clearance
- Wheels & tires: 18” wheels wrapped with 29” front (VA 255/55 R18) & 31.5” rear (HA 285/60 R18) BFG A/T tires
- Options: Soft-top roof, AWD system
Reality or Wishful Thinking?
Do we really expect to see electric dune buggies at VW dealers anytime soon? Sadly, no.
Do we have hope that VW or a third-party manufacturer will make a dune buggy body like this available for the versatile VW electric MEB platform? Yes, very much so!
We do expect to see vehicles based on the all-electric MEB platform hit the market in 2020. Only time will tell how successful this platform will be — and what crazy-fun vehicles will be built upon it.