VW to unveil new dune buggy — and it’s electric-powered

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Volkswagen teased the upcoming debut of its electric-powered dune buggy with this image | Volkswagen photo

Volkswagen announced Wednesday afternoon that it will unveil a new dune buggy in March — as an electric-powered concept vehicle.

“Volkswagen is bringing a legend back to life!” the company said.  “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), demonstrating how multifaceted the new platform is.”

The 1964 Meyers Manx named Old Red in its natural surroundings, a California beach | Historic Vehicle Association

Back in 1964, Californian Bruce Meyers took a VW Beetle chassis, added a hand-formed fiberglass open body and created “Old Red,” the first Meyers Manx and thus the original dune buggy. The vehicle became popular for cruising beaches and racing in Baja and became a cultural icon.

“A buggy is more than a car,” VW’s head designer Klaus Bischoff is quoted in the new release. “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.”

In its announcement, Volkswagen noted that the dune buggy underscored the flexibility of the Beetle chassis. 

The MEB is VW’s new and fully electric vehicle platform, which the company said will be used not only for mass-production vehicles, but for niche production as well.

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Bruce Meyers shaping the first Manx in 1964 | Historic Vehicle Association

 “Now, the MEB is proving to be just as flexible,” it added. “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.”

VW’s e-buggy will be unveiled March 5 at Volkswagen’s media conference at the Geneva Motor Show.

 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

9 COMMENTS

  1. the New ‘Electric’ VW-Dune Buggy , should be Monickered as the "VOLTS-WAGEN" ! !
    Put that spin in your sales programs , I owned two Bugs and a DuneBuggy by 1973.

  2. I might be interested if it were not electric because, if I were to buy one, I’d have to ditch it after 10 years or so when the batteries failed and it cost a fortune to replace them …..just like on the Prius today.

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