Now we’ve learned that our hopes for open-top electric beachcombing have been dashed on the rocks of reality. According to an Autocar interview with Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter , the ID Buggy is no longer being considered for production.
“No, we won’t do this car,” he told the British publication. “We had a partner, but in the end it didn’t work out.”
That partner is believed to be a German firm called e.GO, which said it was working with Volkswagen to build niche cars based on its MEB electric platform, which will also underpin volume-selling models like the upcoming ID4. A March 2019 e.GO press release danced around the subject of producing the ID Buggy without actually saying they were contracted to build it. E.GO filed for bankruptcy protection in April, 2020, and suspended all manufacturing and development in July.
We shouldn’t be this upset over the cancellation of a concept car, but the ID Buggy was so close we could taste it. Our sister publication Automobile drove the ID Buggy concept at the Pebble Beach show, and it was every bit as brilliant as you’d expect, the show car’s 25 mph maximum speed notwithstanding.
A similar fate may befall a similar concept: According to that same Autocar interview, Volkswagen was working on a project called the Ruggdzz (a name that is probably a lot closer to the word “rugged” when pronounced with a German accent), a go-anywhere SUV with Land Rover Discovery-like styling. This too has been shelved.
“We’ve put it in the drawer,” Brandstätter told Autocar. “That is not to say it won’t be built, but I don’t think you’ll see it soon. We have more important projects on the run.”