Volkswagen is working hard these days to get away from all the emissions problems that they have been embroiled in. Recently, three of the VW Group were charged with collusion over more emissions related issues – other than the main testing scandal. So to refocus the market, the company has showcased an electric microbus and they have also now shown an electric dune buggy.
The original dune buggy concept wasn’t a VW design, rather they benefited from someone else doing the hard work. It this case it was Bruce Meyers in California who during the early 1960s took a Beetle and used most of the mechanical components and fitted them to a swoopy fibreglass shell and fitted bigger wheels and off-road tyres. They became a cultural icon and a hugely successful desert racing machine, copied by many over the years and Meyers even started the current idea of continuation cars by restarting production thirty years after it first stopped.
So VW is using the dune buggy design concept to showcase more electric vehicles. The I.D. Buggy uses their “MEB” Platform which has underpinned several VW concept vehicles. In English, MEB stands for Modular Electrification Toolkit and VW wants to licence its use to small volume manufacturers to help reduce the cost and also to grab market share. Normally the platform will be used by front-drive vehicles, however the I.D. Buggy shows how the platform could be used for a rear/mid engined configuration and gives the concept a closer link to the original Meyers Manx dune buggy.
The concept is powered by a 62 kWh battery feeding a 200hp electric motor giving it a maximum range of 155 miles or 250 kms. That is plenty for a day’s fun however the vehicle is limited to to a top speed of 99 mph (160 kmh) – which is plenty for this type of pleasure craft! The engineers have copied a lot of the features of the original design and made a great looking vehicle.
Here at Motoring Weekly, we like this type of vehicle concept and hope that someone i.e. Meyers Manx Inc could use it to build a new electric buggy using their real design. Perhaps as VW “borrowed” their design, they could let Meyers use the MEB platform for a cheaper licensing cost. That would be an honourable thing to do – and VW certainly need to show some honour after years of emissions scandals!
Image provided by Volkswagen