The Volkswagen Dune Buggy, a classic from the 1960’s California beach life, gets another chance at life. The new concept, an electric Meyers Manx-inspired dune buggy, will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show this summer, showcasing Volkswagen’s new electric technology. The electric MEB platform is making low-volume builds plausible in the future, and it’s a great opportunity to build new retro-inspired vehicles, life the Dune Buggy.
The dune buggy was original designed for desert racing by engineer, artist, boat builder and surfer Bruce Meyers. The kit was produced 1964 to 1971, in the form of a car kit to add onto a shortened Volkswagen Beetle chassis. There was even a cartoon called Speed Buggy, a sixteen episode show airing in 1973, voiced by Mel Blanc.
There has been two design sketches released of the buggy. Volkswagen created an airy design with curvy features, with tires ready for the sand dunes. A teaser image released, reflects classic styling, including a freestanding windshield and roll bar. The head designer, Klaus Bischoff said, “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.”
Volkswagen made the statement, “The new MEB concept vehicles shows that this fully electric platform can be used for more than just large-scale series production models. Like the Beetle chassis of yesteryear, the MEB has the potential to facilitate the development of low-volume niche vehicles.” The MEB can produce front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive and provide a range of over 300 miles per charge.
The current Beetle, a conventional vehicle, will be discontinued at the end this year. They have not ruled out making the transition of the VW Beetle to the MEB chassis platform in the future. The MEB platform is launching the I.D. Electric hatchback later this year, followed by a crossover and Microbus-inspired minivan. This is all part of Volkswagen’s $84 billion shift to battery-powered vehicles. In 2022, some of those options will begin production in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Image Credit: Volkswagen