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Volkswagen is bringing back the dune buggy (and it’s electric)

No need to feel guilty while frolicking on the beach

Electric vehicles need not be boring, you know. IMAGE FROM VOLKSWAGEN

The dune buggy formula is very simple. Take a Volkswagen Beetle‘s chassis and running gear, plonk any open-top fiberglass tub on it, slap on some huge wheels, and you’ve got a zippy little runabout for the summer season.

Unfortunately, the classic dune buggy’s days are numbered. Besides the dwindling supply of solid donor frames, the range of Volkswagen carbureted flat-four engines that power most of these vehicles will no longer cut it. They’re slow by modern standards, and the gunk that comes out of their tailpipes is something the planet could do without.

The concept vehicle will be unveiled at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Let us wait then. IMAGE FROM VOLKSWAGEN

Thankfully, the German automaker is bringing the funky beach cruiser back. At least in the form of a one-off concept car anyway. And instead of being built on the old Bug’s undercarriage, the concept dune buggy is based on the very clever MEB platform. The MEB (Modularer Elektrobaukasten) platform is the all-purpose, next-generation framework for the Volkswagen Group’s future electric vehicles.

Thanks to Volkswagen’s EV technology, the kids of tomorrow will be able to enjoy the same beach vehicle minus the environmental guilt

Inspired by the classic dune buggy’s style, Volkswagen’s modern-day version has a wide, curvaceous body without any doors. The flared fenders are oversized to accommodate the all-terrain tires and the long-travel suspension. There are no details yet about the power unit, but it will be electric (the MEB platform is designed exclusively for EVs).

Purists will agree that one of the charms of the iconic dune buggy was the signature roar of its ancient engine. But thanks to Volkswagen’s pioneering EV technology, the kids of tomorrow will be able to enjoy the same beach vehicle minus the environmental guilt.

Volkswagen’s new concept dune buggy will be officially presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.