By on March 7, 2019

The Meyers Manx has returned, only it isn’t technically a Manx. Volkswagen built it, it’s an EV, and it isn’t actually going on sale anywhere because it’s a concept car. Our apologies to any aged beach bums we just pulled the rug from beneath.

A lot of dune buggies (including the Manx) were adapted from old VW Beetles, but the manufacturer never built any of its own — at least none for public consumption. While we don’t see that changing anytime soon, Volkswagen certainly could move forward with the I.D. Buggy if it thought it profitable. After all, nobody thought we’d see the return of the Microbus, and yet the company is currently readying an all-electric Buzz that draws almost all of its inspiration from that vehicle. We think the Buggy would pair nicely with it, even though it exists far outside the mainstream. 

Riding on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, the Buggy and Buzz similarly exist to remind the public of Volkswagen’s glory days, while simultaneously pushing the electrification narrative. VW wants you to think back on the Swinging Sixties and make positive associations to what it’s doing now. Forget about the diesel scandal, forget about how it’s one of the largest automotive conglomerates in history, and just be reminded of a period when the brand was indirectly linked to peace, love, and saving the whales.

Wearing semi-flat green paint giving off an anodized look, the Buggy Concept gets a set of matching wheels wrapped in off-road rubber. Sheet metal is at a minimum here, with most of the car being predictably exposed to the elements. That theme carries over to the interior, where the majority of the controls are isolated to the steering wheel. However, VW’s choice of making them almost universally touch sensitive seems like an odd choice considering the space would presumably be hit with sand and droplets of water on a regular basis. Physical buttons would have been better, but this is a concept car so it isn’t really worth complaining about.

While it’s normally extremely easy to rule out whether or not a trade show car foreshadows a production vehicle, the Buggy makes things a little tougher. Volkswagen hasn’t said anything, and it’s really too niche to be placed on an assembly line, but the MEB platform exists to allow VW room to experiment. The company previously said the versatile MEB would open the door for more interesting vehicles, potentially from other manufacturers. Unfortunately, we get the feeling this could be a bridge too far.

Still, it’s not as though the company hasn’t thought about it. In 2011, Volkswagen revealed the Buggy Up! (below) at the Frankfurt Auto Show. While the powertrain was different, the basic idea was not. If MEB ends up being the colossal success story VW envisions, maybe you’ll see the I.D. Buggy or something like it kicking up sand in a few years.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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5 Comments on “Volkswagen Brings Back the Buggy in Geneva...”


  • avatar
    4drSedan

    Ooh, I want one!

    What? It’s electric? Oh, never mind.

    • 0 avatar
      vehic1

      4drSedan: Yeah, who needs faster acceleration in a fun vehicle, anyway? Those people can just get off my lawn!

      • 0 avatar
        4drSedan

        Me: Hey Vehic1, we’re all going to trailer our rigs to Big Bear this weekend for some camping and off roading. Wanna come?

        You: Sorry man, I got this electric buggy and once the battery dies out there it’s useless.

        Me: Throw me a couple of bucks for gas and you can ride with me. I might even let you drive some.

        • 0 avatar
          Yurpean

          Since when do Big Bear campsites no longer have RV power? Did I miss something? Because last time I checked, and that was last weekend, there are plenty of 50A hookups on campsites.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    I applaud the rapidity of VW’s response to my request for lower beltlines.

    Does Under Armour get royalties on the taillamps?

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