As you can from the darkened teasers, the study draws inspiration from the classic 1960s American buggies that appeared first in California. These classic buggies were based on the original Beetle chassis and VW is keen on making a connection with the new one, which is underpinned by the company’s MEB architecture.
“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,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at Volkswagen.
By using the MEB platform, VW is demonstrating the modularity of its EV-specific architecture, which according to the company can be used for not just large-scale series production models but for low-volume niche vehicles as well. VW already sees the MEB kit as the spiritual successor of the Beetle chassis.
After all, the Beetle chassis was used on a number of recreational vehicles, one-offs and low-volume models for decades, including special bodied models from Hebmüller and Rometsch and the aforementioned dune buggies like the Meyers Manx. VW estimates that around 250,000 vehicles of this type were built using a Beetle chassis.
We’ll see if VW’s plans are strictly conceptual to keep the hype going for the MEB electric platform, or if the Dune Buggy leads to a more consumer-friendly derivative (think a crossover) in the near future at the Geneva Motor Show that opens for the public on March 7, 2019.