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Meet Batterybug: VW jump-starts chopped beach wheels

  • Concept vehicle based on 1960s and 70s fun cars
  • Design ‘conveys simply getting behind the wheel
  • World premièr at Geneva international auto show
MEET THE BATTERYBUG: This is VW's newest interpretation of the timeless beach buggy, booked for the 2019 Geneva auto show. Image: VW
MEET THE BATTERYBUG: This is VW’s newest interpretation of the timeless beach buggy, booked for the 2019 Geneva auto show. Image: VW

WOLFSBURG, Germany – Volkswagen will in early March 2019 revive a legend by revealing the first electric dune buggy based on its ”modular electric drive matrix” platform.

Klaus Bischoff, VW’s design boss, told The Corner in a media release from Wolfsburg: “A buggy is more than a car – it’s vibrancy and energy on four wheels now embodied. It shows how a modern, non-retro, interpretation of a classic can look.

”More than anything else, there’s the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.”

MEET THE BATTERYBUG: This is VW's newest interpretation of the timeless beach buggy, booked for the 2019 Geneva auto show. Image: VW
MEET THE BATTERYBUG: This is VW’s newest interpretation of the timeless beach buggy, booked for the 2019 Geneva auto show. Image: VW

The concept, VW says, is based on vehicles created in the 1960s in California beachpeople but which quickly spread globally – including here in South Africa – with chopped VW cars – later to be called beetles then Beetles when the automaker adopted the name as a brand.

True to the originals, the 2019 re-interpretation of the dune buggy – so named because it had huge and wide rear tyres to run on beaches – and later deserts – of the US.

It has no fixed roof or conventional doors and the large wheels and open sills dominate the overall look.

READ MORE VW features on Carman’s Corner

This MEB concept, VW says, shows how the battery-only electric platform can be used for more than just large-scale production. Like the Beetle chassis of yesteryear, the MEB could lead to the development of low-volume niche vehicles.

The history of recreation vehicles and VW technology is long. From the Beetle convertible and special bodies produced by such as Hebmüller and Rometsch to Meyers Manx dune buggies the VW chassis carried creative custom solutions for decades.

SEE IT AT GENEVA

Globally, the 1980s provided 250 000 one-off or small-volume vehicles.

This the latest one-of-a-kind batterybug will be shown for the first time at the 89th Geneva auto show which will run from March 7-17 .

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