Volkswagen ID. BUGGY Comes Out to Play in Geneva – Electric Dune Buggy of the Future

By Steve & Tamami Laser

What has no doors, no roof, no (gas) engine, and is likely to be one of the biggest stars of this year’s Geneva Motor Show? Volkswagen’s ID. BUGGY, the automaker’s latest concept vehicle that demonstrates the flexibility of its modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform, and generates ear-to-ear grins.

Inspired by classic VW-powered buggies of the ‘60s, the lightweight body of the ID. BUGGY can be detached from its chassis. Yet unlike the originals that placed a fiberglass body atop the vintage Beetle’s 4-cylinder boxer rear-engine platform, the ID. BUGGY is a modern zero-emissions battery-powered vehicle.

The retro-styled body, painted matte Fern Green on the upper half, and textured Grey Tech Blue on the lower portion, is styled to visually “float” above the chassis. It sports LED headlights, taillights, and LED VW logos. There’s also a reinforced windshield frame and sturdy Targa bar that VW says will help to provide rollover support.

Integrated into the floor is a high-voltage, space-saving, lithium-ion battery pack rated at 62 kWh. Power is supplied to the rear wheels via an electric motor rated at 201 horsepower and 228 lb.-ft. of torque. VW says the concept is good for a zero to 62 mph sprint in 7.2 seconds. A second electric motor could be mounted in the front to help generate four-wheel drive.

The no-frills interior is dressed with a pair of bucket seats trimmed with waterproof materials while the hexagonal steering wheel is wrapped with water-repellent Nappa leather. A digital instrument cluster displays “Hey You” when the driver enters the car and presses the start button.

As a concept vehicle, ID. BUGGY has reportedly been built for off-road use with a solid aluminum underbody guard, aluminum side sill panels, and 18-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A® tires (255/55 front, and 285/60 rear).

Could a production version of ID. BUGGY be built? VW said it intends to make the MEB chassis toolkit accessible to competitors. “A clear signal to small-series manufacturers and start-ups: As in the past, Volkswagen is opening up to external producers with the ID. BUGGY concept. The offer: You can build the new-era, zero-emissions dune buggy based on this concept,” said the automaker.

The ID. BUGGY is a concept vehicle

News source and photos courtesy of Volkswagen AG, and Volkswagen of America

Story (commentary) © 2019