“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” VW’s global design chief Klaus Bischoff said in a statement accompanying a pair of shots teasing the dune buggy safari concept’s debut. “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 estimates that as many as 250,000 of the original Beetles were modified into dune buggies and other unique models by the 1980s. Meyers himself re-launched his company in 2000, still relying on the first-generation Beetles that continue to ply U.S. highways.
Volkswagen isn’t offering many details about the new e-buggy, but the teaser pics reveal that it picks up on the classic design first pioneered by the Manx, with a long nose, a stubby tail, a shortened windshield, roll bar and high side sills rather than doors suitable Dubai desert dune buggy. Knobby, oversized tires suggest that, like the original sand rails, the VW e-buggy concept is designed to operate both on and off-road.
The electric buggy will be unveiled March 5 at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, and sketches released today show a swoopy, big-wheeled electric car that reflects the looks and capabilities of the original Meyers Manx bugg and the many knockoff kit cars that were designed for the beaches and sand dunes of yesteryear. Those cars used the VW Beetle platform, added big wheels and beefier suspension, and topped it with a roofless, doorless, fiberglass bucket body.
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