Volkswagen has been coyly teasing its electric dune buggy concept as “feasible for production” but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. That said, there is a working model playing around in the California sand right now, and a few notes from folks who got to drive it.
The ID. Buggy, as VW’s calling it, is really just a cute way to showcase the versatility of the company’s new MEB platform, on which many different mass-market vehicles will soon be built.
Since post-Dieselgate Volkswagen is probably still keen to leverage any opportunity to be associated with fun-loving hippies again instead of corporate greed and industrial-scale fraud, we got this adorable insectile electric concept vehicle with no roof, no doors, BF Goodrich all-terrain tires and a smiling face.
Those of you who have heard of the original Meyers Manx will surely recognize the cribbed design elements. For everybody else, the Manx was basically the “quintessential dune buggy” you might have seen in pop culture somewhere.
“It’s just kind of a visualization of friendship and love,” Bruce Meyers, the Manx’s designer, said of his original buggy in a VW promotional reel. “Everybody on the street started beeping their horn, giving the thumbs-up, and, happy waves, and smiles, and yells.”
“A little short car with great big wheels is cute,” he added. “Automatically, that says ‘fun.’ It has a sense of adventure.”