Volkswagen is bringing a legend back to life. At the beginning of March, the Wolfsburg-based company will reveal the first fully electric version of a new dune buggy. Taking its cues from popular American dune buggies, the concept vehicle is based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB).
“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels. 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,” stated Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at Volkswagen.
The concept of the fully electric buggy is based on the vehicles that were created in the 1960s in California. Back then, the Beetle chassis served as the basis for these buggies; now, the MEB is proving to be just as flexible. True to the original vehicles, this reinterpretation of a dune buggy has no fixed roof or conventional doors, while the large wheels and off-road tires and open side sills dominate the overall look.
The new MEB concept vehicle shows that this fully electric platform can be used for more than just large-scale series production models. Like the Beetle chassis of yesteryear, the MEB has the potential to facilitate the development of low-volume niche vehicles.
The history of recreational vehicles and Volkswagen technology is a long one. From the Beetle convertible and special bodies produced by companies such as Hebmüller and Rometsch to dune buggies like the Meyers Manx, the Beetle chassis allowed for creative custom solutions for decades. Globally, around 250,000 individual vehicles were built as one-offs or at low volumes through to the 1980s.