Wolfsburg - Anyone who’s spent some time at the coast, particularly in days gone by, will be familiar with the beach buggy - or dune buggy as it’s known in other parts of the world.
Essentially a Beetle chassis and engine with an aftermarket fibreglass body that freed your spirit from the boredom of everyday motoring (and any anxiety you might have had about sea air and corrosion), these buggies were popular with surfer crowds in many parts of the world, including South Africa.
Same thing goes for this new dune buggy concept vehicle that Volkswagen will be showing off at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed for production just yet, Volkswagen created it to show that its upcoming MEB platform for fully electric vehicles is flexible enough to accommodate lower-volume niche vehicles such as this - so our suspicion is that it will eventually get the green light if the public get excited enough about the show car.
Just like those buggies of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the modern concept has open side sills and no fixed roof or doors, although there is a large targa-style rollbar to protect occupants who misjudge their dune topography. Large wheels with off-road tyres have also been thrown in for good measure.
“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” says VW’s head designer Klaus Bischoff.
“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.”
There is no word on how much power it makes, but given the abundance of instantaneous torque offered by modern electric motors, performance should be more than respectable.
Should it ever reach production, the buggy will form part of a large electric car family that’s set to kick off with a new Golf-sized hatchback in 2020, followed by a modern looking crossover, a Kombi-inspired MPV and possibly a sedan too.