We just got our first look at the Volkswagen ID Buggy Concept, and it’s safe to say this is a ground-breaking vehicle. It might sound like hyperbole, but this humble little beach machine could signal a paradigm shift in the industry, and forever change how people think about their vehicles.
Now, that’s not to say that the vehicle pictured here will become as ubiquitous as the original Beetle. Because while there are obviously enthusiasts who’d love to take it as is, the fact of the matter is that most people want their vehicles to have features like doors. Crazy, we know. But the thing that makes this concept so exciting is the Mobility Electric Drive Matrix, which will allow wildly different vehicles to ride on the same skateboard-style platform.
And while the drivetrain might be different, the concept will be familiar to folks who remember the kit car craze of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, which saw Volkswagen’s beloved Beetle as the basis for all kinds of fun, limited-production vehicles. So we can envision a future where your local AutoNation Volkswagen dealer allows buyers pick a platform that allows their vehicle to become anything from a dune buggy, to a sports car, to micro van. In the official press release, the company even says the platform “can be used by start-ups for a wide variety of custom vehicles.” The famous Meyers Manx dune buggy kits are even mentioned by name!
The idea of a truly modular car is something we’ve dreamed about for years, and now, it seems like Volkswagen is going to put some serious corporate muscle behind the concept.
To illustrate just how amazing this concept is, check out the explanation Volkswagen provided along with the reveal:
The zero-emissions drivetrain of the ID. BUGGY is made up of the electric motor integrated in the rear axle, power electronics, a single-speed gearbox, the high-voltage flat battery (62 kWh) arranged in the car floor to save space, and the additional units integrated in the vehicle front end. The electric motor delivers 201 horsepower and maximum torque of 228 lb-ft from standstill. This means that the electric vehicle always provides enough power on the rear axle, even off-road. With full acceleration on paved slopes, the concept car sprints from zero to 62 mph in just 7.2 seconds. The maximum speed is electronically controlled at 99 mph.
As an alternative to the rear-wheel-drive layout, it is also possible to fit a second electric motor in the front axle of the ID. BUGGY. In this case, an “electric propshaft” would distribute the power of the 4Motion® four-wheel drive between the front and rear axles in fractions of a second.
We couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities for this platform, and what it means for every AutoNation Volkswagen dealer. So stay tuned for more news on the Mobility Electric Drive Matrix, and everything it means for the future of cars!