Volkswagen teases electric dune buggy concept to debut at Geneva Motor Show

Looks like VW is bringing the dune buggy into the 21st century.

Manuel Carrillo III Automotive Reviews Editor
A Porsche 911 S brought Manuel Carrillo III home from the hospital after he was born, so it's no surprise his lifelong trajectory has centered on cars, leading him to a robust career creating rich automotive media for publications prior to joining CNET.

The Southern California native briefly lived in Sydney, and is proud to have developed a barely passable Aussie accent. He also serves on the board of directors of the Motor Press Guild. When not reviewing cars or nerding out on OEM premium audio, you can find manual-labor-averse Manuel doing his best to convince his closest friends to fix the very Porsche that delivered him home.
Manuel Carrillo III
2 min read

When you think about the 1960s, it's hard not to ruminate on Beatlemania, the Vietnam War and the moon landing. In car culture , the United States was making heavy contributions that decade with the advent of pony cars and the first golden age of muscle cars. With the help of Germany, America also introduced the world to the dune buggy.

Using 'roided-out versions of the little engine that could, as well as some people's car chassis bits, American builders ended up with maniacal machines capable of scoring bragging rights at legendary battlegrounds like Glamis sand dunes' Competition Hill.

Volkswagen Electric Dune Buggy Geneva Concept
Enlarge Image
Volkswagen Electric Dune Buggy Geneva Concept

Those tires are huge, but they could stand to add some paddles to really rip through the sand.


Well, the dune buggy may have been born in the US, but it's being reinvented in Switzerland at this year's International Motor Show in Geneva. just released a teaser of an all-electric dune buggy concept the automaker plans to reveal at the big Swiss show.

Based on Volkswagen's modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform, the electric dune buggy, free of a roof and doors, pays homage to early dune buggies of the '60s and '70s. It's highly unlikely this would ever become a production model, but Volkswagen is using this concept to demonstrate that its MEB architecture could be used for a new wave of electric dune buggies with which the aftermarket could let loose.

In fact, from the '60s to the '80s, Volkswagen says about 250,000 one-offs or low-volume specialty vehicles were produced globally by builders the world over.

That's all we know so far about Volkswagen's electric dune buggy concept, but we'll have much more information as soon as the car is revealed March 5 at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition: Until we meet again

See all photos