Electric Volkswagen dune buggy in the works, report says

VW is finally killing the Beetle next July, but there could be a Buggy in its future. A source inside the automaker told Autocar that a Myers Manx-inspired electric dune buggy is in the works. (The Meyers Manx was a common site on the sands of California’s beaches and deserts in the 1960s and 1970s.) VW … Continue reading “Electric Volkswagen dune buggy in the works, report says”

VW is finally killing the Beetle next July, but there could be a Buggy in its future.

A source inside the automaker told Autocar that a Myers Manx-inspired electric dune buggy is in the works.

(The Meyers Manx was a common site on the sands of California’s beaches and deserts in the 1960s and 1970s.)

VW never built its own dune buggy, but many were created using Beetle chassis, from which the body could be easily removed. In a similar fashion, the new one would be based on the company’s new battery-powered platform that has been designed to accommodate a variety of body styles, including compact hatchbacks and a minivan styled like the classic Microbus that’s been confirmed for production in a few years.

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According to the Autocar source, the open-top dune buggy features a freestanding windshield, oversized tires and a roll bar. VW has toyed with this idea before, most recently in 2011 when it revealed the gasoline-powered Buggy Up! Concept that never made it into production.

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Lending credence to the Autocar report, VW head designer Klaus Bischoff told Fox News Autos at the U.S. debut of the microbus last year that “we are also considering to bring back some open off-roadish vehicle that stands for a lot of fun.”

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Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

Volkswagen may build cars at Ford’s U.S. plants, CEO says

Have you driven a Volkswagen lately?

The German automaker is talking to Ford about using some of its excess U.S. manufacturing capacity to build future VW models, VW CEO Herbert Diess told reporters Tuesday after meeting with White House officials on trade.

Ford and VW have been in preliminary discussions about creating an alliance focused on commercial vehicles built on shared platforms, but specifics on where they would be made have not been pinned down.

Volkswagen currently runs its own manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., where it produces the Passat sedan and Atlas SUV, and VW North America CEO Scott Keogh revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week that the company is scouting locations for a potential second factory that would build electric cars. Diess did not say if the use of Ford facilities would take the place of the second plant or be aimed at additional production.

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At a separate event in Detroit on Tuesday, Ford chairman Bill Ford Jr. told reporters that the talks with VW were “going well,” but said it was too early to discuss any manufacturing plans that may result from them, Reuters reported.

With Ford’s recent elimination of several car lines and a continuing shift toward less conventional mobility segments, a Morgan Stanley analyst this week projected that Ford could make as many as 25,000 job cuts in the near future. General Motors last week announced manufacturing cuts that could affect 18,000 employees worldwide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

‘American Pickers’ star Mike Wolfe is auctioning his 1962 VW van

Mike Wolfe of “American Pickers” makes a living collecting all sorts of things, but when it comes to cars, he has a soft spot for old Volkswagens.

He’s purchased more than a few Bugs and Buses over the years, and not just to flip. He’s often spotted driving them on the show and around Tennessee.

He does put them up for sale now and then, though, and currently has one listed on Ebay.

(J-3 Restoration)

It’s a 1962 Type 2 double-door panel van with plenty of patina and just a little rust through at the roof seam. It’s not fully restored, but it runs fine thanks to a rebuild of its 40 hp engine by specialists Brothers VW Machine and a remanufactured Type 3 transmission from Rancho. It rides on a lowered suspension and comes equipped with a roof rack.

(J-3 Restoration)

Along with the Ebay auction, which runs through Dec. 3 (and had a high bid of $19,788.88 at the time of this writing), it’s also listed for sale on TheSamba.com for $30,000.

(J-3 Restoration)

Maybe Wolfe can use the proceeds to buy one of the retro-styled electric and autonomous cargo vans VW revealed at the L.A. Auto Show and hopes to have on sale by 2022.

THE VW I.D. BUZZ CARGO IS A RETRO-ELECTRIC REBOOT OF THE MICROBUS:

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Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

L.A. Auto Show: The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Cargo Concept is a retro electric reboot of the Microbus

Volkswagen has a special delivery on the way in 2022.

The I.D Buzz Cargo Concept unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show is a preview of an all-electric, autonomous commercial vehicle that’s been greenlighted for production.

(VW)

Inspired by the classic VW Microbus, it coincidentally has its electric motor mounted in the rear, where it sits behind an under-floor battery pack that’s good for over 300 miles of range between charges.

(VW)

An all-wheel-drive version is possible too, as VW has previously shown on a passenger version of the vehicle.

(VW)

VW is pitching the I.D. Buzz Cargo as a perfect solution for the growing parcel delivery industry that’s been spurred by online shopping, and results in vans spending a lot of time sitting in city traffic wasting fuel. Along with not needing to use any energy when it isn't moving, the I.D. Buzz Cargo has solar panels on its roof that can generate over 9 miles of electricity each day.

(VW)

The L.A. show car is outfitted like a support vehicle for VW’s record-setting Pike’s Peak Hill Climb team for fun, but VW says the production version will be able to carry up to 1,760 pounds of whatever you need it to.

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.