According to a report from Autocar, Volkswagen has all but confirmed the return of the Beach Buggy with its annual Christmas card. This time around, however, it’ll be powered by VW’s ID electric platform, which is set to underpin the upcoming Microbus-inspired Buzz van and an unnamed hatchback. As random and frivolous as a new electric Beach Buggy might sound, it couldn’t be more perfectly timed.
The original Beetle-based Meyers Manx was built for desert racing and romping around beaches – it’s one of the most iconic off-roaders off all time. Steve McQueen drove one in the original Thomas Crown Affair if you need any endorsement of its cool-factor. But the Meyers Manx wasn’t just an off-road vehicle; it was street legal too, like a four-wheeled scrambler of its day. Accessible and practical off-roaders are in the middle of a comeback, fueled by the swell in popularity of the outdoors and adventure lifestyle.
Electric vehicles, so far, are severely underrepresented in the adventure category. Now that Alta Motors ceased operations, Zero currently has the electric off-road motorcycle market cornered. In the four-wheeled category, electric recreational off-roaders are nearly non-existent, especially when it comes to mass-production.
If Volkswagen comes through and puts the new all-electric Beach Buggy into production, it’ll be the only major manufacturer to have anything in the category. And, seeing how the market is in an upswing, it’s not unreasonable to think the new electric Buggy will fly off dealership floors. With the might of VW production and marketing, the popularity of fun on-road-off-road capable vehicles and the ever-growing community of adventure lifestyle and overlanding, now is the perfect time for Volkswagen to bring back the Beach Buggy — making it electric is the modern, smart choice.