► VW's off-road EV scooped!
► Chunky ID Ruggedzz planned
► Coming in 2025 to replace Buggy
Volkswagen has all of its conventional ID models planned for the years to come, with everything from an ID 1 supermini to a massive ID 7 that will much like an electrified Touareg.
But the brand will go a little off-piste elsewhere in its electric range of models; VW hopes to offer up to four emotional niche e-products including this new ID Ruggedzz. This is a proper SUV, kind of an electric Defender for the not quite so wealthy.
From the flames…
VW’s cutesy ID Buggy is dead. Wolfsburg intended to contract low-volume production to e.Go Mobile in Aachen, until the small EV mobility specialist recently filed for insolvency. But expect the Ruggedzz to take design inspiration from the Buggy, including its chunky bumper arrangement, high ground clearance and off-road tyres.
Driving the VW ID Buggy prototype
The boss’s brainchild
All-electric and all-wheel drive, it started life four years ago as RUV, short for ‘rugged utility vehicle’, a pet project of CEO Herbert Diess. Cheap to build, easy to clean, flexible and affordable to run, the Ruggedzz will be aimed at the young outdoors and lifestyle crowd.
There’s a plan B
Before Bernhard Maier left Skoda, there were moves afoot to transfer the project there.
If Skoda does get Ruggedzz, VW is likely to go ahead with the Junglezz, a reimagined WW2 Kübelwagen – a no-frills transportation device that later spawned the 181 (below), or Trekker in the UK. Expect to see a show car in 2021.
Board member, Jürgen Stackmann, on the future of VW's electric cars
‘The electric-car era will force SUVs to change. We’ve always wondered what’s the next big thing after the SUV: it’s the fully electric SUV.
'With bespoke electric cars you can get a flat floor, you can push the front of the cabin to the front of the car and you have small overhangs and a long wheelbase.’
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