Surf’s up: Volkswagen will show e-beach buggy in Geneva

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Volkswagen presents their electric beach buggy concept vehicle modelled on the legendary Meyers Manx dune buggies from the 60s and 70s. The German car makerset the debut in March this year.

In December just passed, it was already rumoured that Volkswagen would be making a version of the iconic Manx Beach Buggy. Volkswagen has confirmed that the concept vehicle will be based on the modular platform (MEB).

This new concept, which VW says it will show at Geneva this spring, is following the same recipe, but utilizing VW’s new electric tech to show just how the MEB stretches to make low-volume builds feasible in the future. The airy design with its swoopy fenders and knobbly tires looks like a successful update of the original idea – we wonder if VW has tested the vehicle at a Wolfsburg sandpit yet.

Volkswagen has released two design sketches of the buggy; despite bathing in green light in the sketch, it’s not necessarily greenlit – as VW says it’s a one-off. Rather, it serves as a hint that the MEB platform does enable the creation of wacky stuff, perhaps in the aftermarket scene. Like VW states: “The new MEB concept vehicle shows that this fully electric platform can be used for more than just large-scale series production models. Like the Beetle chassis of yesteryear, the MEB has the potential to facilitate the development of low-volume niche vehicles”.

Awesome background

In 1964, US-American Bruce Meyers assembled the first dune buggy: Handmade, open to the elements – without doors or roof – and based on a shortened Beetle chassis. He was seeking an alternative to the heavy four-wheel jeeps, in order to move faster through the Californian dunes. The first buggy, the “Meyers Manx”, was born.

Quickly, the fun car conquered the beaches of the American coast and became a cult-classic car of the 70s. Up until the 1980s, around 250.000 individual Beetle-based vehicles were built worldwide – as one-offs or at low volumes: From the Beetle Cabriolet to special bodies from companies such as Hebmüller and Rometsch, and the famous, completely open Meyers-Manx Buggy.