Volkswagen Really Wants to Make the I.D. Buggy a Reality

Auto shows can be hard to figure out. Better thought of as fashion show clothes—designed more to impress and show off certain design elements than to actually be worn—it’s best not to get too excited about them. But Volkswagen really wants to make its latest concept car, the I.D. BUGGY. And if they do, it won’t be the first time.

The I.D. Buggy made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month and harks back to the legendary Meyers Manx (among others). Made without doors, with short overhangs, and big chunky wheels, the Buggy has all of the trappings of auto show nonsense.

But according to Klaus Bischoff, VW’s head of design, the company really wants to make it.

“Fun is back. We really want to make the Buggy,” Bischoff said at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance where he was a judge for the Coach Work Custom class. “That’s my hint to hark back to the original Beetle chassis. We will open platform to other manufacturers. This is a showcase for them. And by the way, we really want to make it.”

Now, of course VW wants to make it, but I want to make something healthy for dinner tonight. Whether or not I will is a question only time can answer. But there’s a precedent suggesting that VW isn’t just being hopeful here in the form of the I.D. Buzz.

Volkswagen was similarly adamant that it wanted to bring the I.D. Buzz to market after its debut. And despite its short nose and its auto show nonsense, VW has officially confirmed that it will make it.

“It’s important to do something different,” Bischoff said of the Buzz before its production was made official. “Something true to the brand. We’re just trying to get everything right.”

Similarly, the Buggy shows that VW can do things that are interesting, unique, and fun with its electric vehicles that take it in directions that aren’t being done to death by other automakers (*cough0-60timescough*).

Bischoff quietly didn’t deny questions that a production version of the Buggy would have to change a little to make it to market (doors might be nice) but maintained that something like it could be made.

And the secret to how VW could afford to make such a niche vehicle can be found in another announcement it made at Geneva: By selling its chassis to smaller automakers.

“It’s no secret that we are talking to e.Go,” said Bischoff. “It’s a fairly small company. They can do numbers that we won’t do: 2,000 to 5,000 cars per year.”

Unfortunately, the days of just throwing a fiberglass body on top of a VW chassis haven’t quite returned.

The Ladawri Sebring

“You need a decent production facility. We are already in talks with some manufacturers,” he explained. “It’s not just ‘throw a hat on it and you’re done’. You need to apply proper technology to it. It’s super complicated.”

And while Bischoff did not confirm that e.Go would be building the Buggy—the companies are still, officially, sorting out what the e.Go model will be—it does at least mean that VW’s high-volume ambitions won’t come at the cost of interesting, special, or niche models.