Slated for an unveiling at the upcoming International Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen has teased us with their new all-electric concept dune buggy. Rather than building them around an old 60’s Beetle chassis, however, the new Volkswagen Electric Beach Buggy will show off the brand’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB).
Volkswagen’s MEB Principle
Volkswagen has been working on this system since 2015, and essentially, the MEB is VW’s plan for manufacturing electric cars quickly and at less cost by employing a modular design to their electric vehicles. Each piece of the MEB automobile can be made separately and thrown into any electric model car that exists in the MEB system. The new e-buggy concept gives us a good look at the MEB design at work.
1. The low-voltage battery installed at the front will supply power to the vehicle electronic system and lights, among other things.
2. Batteries installed in the vehicle floor distribute the axle load uniformly.
3. Rear-wheel drive offers advantages when it comes to the MEB. An all-wheel version has been factored into the concept.
4. Electric drive, digitalization, autonomous driving: The MEB will consider all of today’s major issues.
5. The traction battery will be installed between the axles. Visually, it resembles a bar of chocolate.
6. Wheels on the corners of the vehicle create space for batteries of different sizes.
Why Is This Important?
Like the old dune buggies from yesteryear, this upcoming concept car will showcase a rear-engined, open-roofed, door-less, dune-hopping design. And, despite the obvious “cool factor” that a dune buggy possesses, it undoubtedly fits into a niche market. MEB allows VW to manufacture these custom vehicles at a low-volume, and at a cost that isn’t prohibitive to the company or the consumer.
“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels. These attributes are embodied by the new e-buggy, which demonstrates how a modern, non-retro interpretation of a classic can look and, more than anything else, the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.”
-Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at Volkswagen
The Volkswagen Electric Beach Buggy will make its first appearance at the 89th International Geneva Motor Show from March 7-17, and Volkswagen’s press conference will take place on the 5th.