Buggies, way back when, used to be a fairly common sight. Granted we’re talking about the heydays of the 80s (which was uncomfortably long ago, we admit), but they were still somewhat common. Of course, they’re extremely weather dependent, and lend themselves better to the West Coast sun of the USA rather than the cities of Sweden, for example.
What’s pretty good news for us South Africans, then – since we’re blessed with a fairly fantastic climate for more than half the year– is that VW is resurrecting the dune buggy concept and injecting it with a bit of 21st century tech.
The German brand took their ID Buggy to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show to show off the very eye-catching concept, and also reveal a bit more about what they’ve got planned for the vehicle’s platform.
As the picture shows, it has the iconic roofless, airy cabin of yesteryear’s buggies, but it’s also got an aesthetic that makes it look like it could be in some sci-fi movie. It departs from the smaller dimensions of older buggies quite substantially, too. Generally they were somewhat of a cross between the size of an actual car and a golf cart, but the ID Buggy is closer to a smaller, open-air SUV rather than a lightweight beach crawler.
In keeping with the futuristic image, VW plans to have the ID Buggy powered by an all-electric powertrain, although they haven’t provided precise information about its specs.
More interestingly, though, is that the ID Buggy showcased VW’s ‘Modular Electric Toolkit’, which is a vehicle platform the company will allow others to use if they want to create an innovative new car model. Effectively, the functional parts hidden beneath the panels will be standardised, but the chassis and exterior is open to design.
The cool part about this is that someone can design a niche concept car (much like the ID Buggy itself) and instead of worrying about making it a financially viable option in an existing mega-company like VW, they can just use VW’s platform but come up with a creative design. So, while the ID Buggy is unlikely to be a mass-produced car any time soon, it does give us a view of what is capable with the Toolkit VW will release to the public.
Capetonians and Durbanites will probably be a little disappointed to hear they won’t be able to pick up an ID Buggy at their closest VW showroom soon – but perhaps the popularity of the concept will encourage VW to consider a commercial model!