The Beach Buggy was one of the more significant automotive revelations of the 60s and 70s. Everyone hoped on the fad- people were slapping the roof of their Beetles, and no beach was one without it. The buggy signified freedom, youth and energy- a four-wheeled motorcycle if I must say, and all these characteristics were automatically imbibed on Volkswagen as a brand as well. With the new breed of Beetles no longer buggy-spec, or cheap, the German manufacturer had to do something to cash-in on the buggy’s ‘nostalgia’- and this is what they have come up with, albeit as a concept.
The new Buggy won’t be based on the Beetle, or any of VW’s gasoline platforms. Instead, its open body sits on a Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) platform, and as the name suggests, will have electric motors powering it.
Volkswagen has gone for a modern take on the whole buggy design and seems to have executed it really well. Going electric is also a sensible decision, as there’s no market for smoke-spitting sand-jumpers anymore-however fun that might be.
This being a concept, Volkswagen has also added lots of unpractical bits. The touch-sensitive steering wheel and instrument console are examples.
Is it going on sale?
Volkswagen was very clear at the Geneva Motor Show that they were just showing off how flexible their MEB platform is- capable of accommodating a SUV as well as a buggy (and more) with little effort. Indeed, the platform itself is interesting but we will be hoping for something a bit more from this particular concept. They are giving a positive benefit of doubt though, so that’s something.
If it goes on sales, the buggy could find its market with a more ‘refined’ bunch of beach goers- which is probably where Volkswagen as a brand is now. Assimilation in to the coast patrol and security forces could be a thing too.