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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

New VW dune basher built to boss the beach

The manufacturer of the Beetle has unveiled an electric version of a 1960s seaside icon

Dune bashing fans in the UAE tend to treat the whole process of tearing up and down the gritty hillocks with a zeal bordering on obsession.

That’s why there’s likely to be excitement among sand crashers as a result of the unveiling of a new vehicle at the Geneva International Motor Show that's been designed with this very activity in mind.

This week, Volkswagen pulled the drapes aside to reveal the ID Buggy concept car, a dune destroyer created as an homage to the US models first built in California during the 1960s.

The mammoth difference here, though, is that this new version is electric.

The minimalistic design, which follows its ancestors in avoiding anything like a door or roof, is ideal for blasting round the country’s sandy hotspots.

On paved surfaces, it’ll do 0-100kph in 7.2 seconds (a little slower on the soft stuff), while the maximum speed has been limited to 160kph.

This concept version just has the two seats, so buyers won’t need to make excuses not to give lifts to people they meet wherever it is they’re going off road.

The fact that the zero-emission ID has been built by Volkswagen is fitting, as the customisers who first started creating beach buggies used the Beetle chassis as a starting point.

They drew inspiration from Bruce Meyers, who made the first version of the car in 1964.

He’d no doubt recognise the look of the ID, but might be surprised by the lack of sound coming out of the engine.

There’s no word about a price or release date yet, but you’d bank on Volkswagen delivering one or two to the Middle East when they finally reach the market.

Updated: March 6, 2019 02:26 PM

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