With It’s All-Electric Beach Buggy Concept, VW Harnesses The Power Of Nostalgia

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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“Sooner or later, everything old is new again,” Stephen King wrote in wrote in in The Colorado Kid.

The same could be said for Volkswagen, too. That’s because VW has aims to reignite America’s love for the German brand by leaning heavily on its most iconic products.

None perhaps conjures more nostalgia than the Beach Buggy of the 1960s. Never mind that VW never actually built the original Buggy. VW still looks to capitalize on its success with this the ID. BUGGY concept. And, interestingly enough, it’s a wild concept that might actually go into production. Let me explain.

Yes Speed Buggy, No Vroom

Nothing goes better with futuristic technology than nostalgia. Volkswagen plans to capitalize on fond memories to lure customers into the seats of electric vehicles.

Underneath the roof-less, door-less ‘Fern Green’ body of the ID. BUGGY is Volkswagen’s new MEB all-electric vehicle platform. Intriguingly, VW divulged at the ID. BUGGY reveal press conference that it will sell the MEB platform to third-party companies. So, if VW doesn’t want to put the ID. BUGGY into its showrooms, another company could.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though. Let’s look at what the BUGGY’s MEB platform entails.

Like The Original, But Greener

The ID Buggy is all Volkswagen – for now. With its modular MEB architecture used as the chassis, specialized cars like this could be built by third-party coachbuilders making lower production runs a real possibility.

The ID. BUGGY is underpinned by a 62-kWh battery pack that routes power to a 201-horsepower electric motor attached to a single-speed gearbox. In turn, it sends power to the rear wheels.

However, the MEB platform could allow for a second, front-mounted electric motor, making the ID. BUGGY an all-wheel drive dune jumper. Know anyone in the market for a rock-crawler Buggy? What would you call that anyhow? A Basalt Buggy? I digress.

With its single-motor setup, it is good for a 0-to-62 miles-per-hour time of 7.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 99 mph. What’s more, it’s good for a single charge driving range of 155 miles.

Seriously, This Could Happen

Building cars that don’t necessarily have to make sense, but create intense desire, might be just the thing VW needs to get back to being “The People’s Car.”

If the fact that it’s constructed on an actual production chassis weren’t enough to convince folks that VW is seriously considering the viability of this vehicle, it features 18-inch wheels and BFGoodrich All-Terrain off-road tires at all four corners.

Typically, fanciful concept cars wear concept tires. Since this doesn’t, it signal this Buggy is closer to reality than it might appear at first blush.

Regardless of whether the ID. BUGGY goes into production or not, it’s nice to see Volkswagen designers being playful again. For too long the brand has been focused on building and selling entry-level sedans painted in metallic grey.

It’s nice to see VW letting its hair down a bit, whether it intends to go through with putting this Buggy into production or not.


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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