While Audi was going down the practicality route with its MEB-based Q4 e-tron SUV EV concept in Geneva, Volkswagen decided to put a fresh spin on an icon of yesteryear with the ID Buggy on that set of matrix components.
“The puristic design of the ID Buggy is the modern, retro-free interpretation of an icon,” said Klaus Bishoff, Chief Designer, reminiscing about the Volkswagen beach buggies from the 1960s. “Unmistakably, a buggy and yet completely re-thought. While the original car was based on the chassis of a Beetle and powered by a four-cylinder boxer at the rear, the ID Buggy has gone down the electric route, further broadening the battery-powered ID range to five electric vehicles, following the introductions of the ID, ID Buzz, ID Cross, and ID Vizzion.
Like the original, the rear-wheel-drive ID Buggy has its motor in the rear, with the battery located under floor. With an energy content of 62 kW·h, supplying a 150-kW electric motor, the lithium-ion battery pack helps to achieve a range of 250 km (155 mi). Maybe not as high as some of the other concepts around the Swiss Expo center’s halls, but enough for the application in urban surroundings, says Volkswagen. Helping to maximize that range, the ID Buggy’s speed is limited to 160 km/h (100 mph). But, it still reaches 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 s, so it’s far from hampered by the limitations.
From a standstill, maximum torque available to the driver is 310 N·m (229 lb·ft), enabling ample power at all times to be delivered via the rear axle in all conditions, even on a sandy beach. There is an alternative to rear-wheel-drive thanks to an additional electric motor mounted on the front axle, which makes all-wheel-drive a reality.
The minimalist design has no doors or roof. Just as the original buggies of the 1960s had a large element of modularity and flexibility, the same approach has been taken for the ID Buggy. Designed as a pure two-seater, it can be converted into a 2+2 layout, while the upper body can be removed from the main chassis if required. This body is a composite material, further reducing weight, and the car’s other structural elements are comprised of a mix of aluminum, steel, and plastic elements. ID Buggy is the latest vehicle to sit on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, an underpinning that the German manufacturer once again said would be freely accessibly to competitors as an electric-vehicle platform.
The interior of the ID Buggy is understandably minimalistic and waterproof throughout. The driver and passenger sit on integrated seats, with headrests and belt guides integrated into the backrests. However, a higher level of advanced technology is seen on the controls, with a multifunction steering wheel and controls on the crossbar that require slightly more pressure than might be expected to prevent any accidental function activation.
The ID Buggy was displayed alongside a further advance in EV technology on the Volkswagen stand—a flexible charging post. The German manufacturer has worked with the wider industry to devise a solution to range anxiety, the charging post having the ability to be installed permanently or temporarily to enable DC quick-charge capability with a maximum capacity of 100 kW.