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.”
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.
“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.