Volkswagen has taken the wraps off its latest retro electric concept and this one takes its cues from the Meyers Manx. Named the I.D. BUGGY for obvious reasons, the concept comes sans roof with waterproof upholstery, and with 200 hp going to the back wheels.
Designed for short trips, the I.D. BUGGY sits on a 160-inch long version of the MEB platform. While, along with the short overhangs that should give it some off-road chops, it does also mean that it’ll only have about 155 miles of range (according to WLTP testing, so even less in EPA testing).
While the size of the two-seater may not allow for much more range, the I.D. BUGGY will have the option of another motor up front to give you all-wheel-drive, unlike the old-school dune buggies.
To protect your undercarriage off-road, VW has fitted some aluminum underbody guards and side sills. Tow hooks have also been fitted in case the going gets a little too muddy.
Good for a 0-62-mph sprint of 7.2 seconds, the I.D. BUGGY is limited to a top speed of 99 mph. And if that takes you a little too far from home when the weather turns, you don’t have to worry.
All of the upholstery is waterproof. And while the concept has only two seats, VW hastens to add that another pair of seats could be added if the aftermarket so wishes.
That’s actually a surprisingly big part of VW’s pitch here. Not unlike the original Meyers Manx, the body is effectively just bolted on. The brand argues that the chassis can easily be isolated and that fiberglass (or whatever) bodies could easily be manufactured by the aftermarket to make all sorts of vehicles. Which is pretty dang cool.
Despite being deliberately minimalistic inside, the BUGGY is still a futuristic EV, so VW couldn’t help fitting a few neat features. For instance, it greets you with a written “Hey you” as you enter the car, meaning that a machine can finally treat you like an acquaintance who has forgotten your name. The future is truly here!
Just when, or indeed if, the production version of the I.D. BUGGY arrives is unknown at this point, but VW proved that it will put funky classics into production if the world thinks they’re cool enough with the BUZZ. Regardless, the concept of coachbuilding bodies for the new MEB chassis has us interested.
A version of this article first appeared on vwvortex.com