The Latest: VW gives dune buggy an electric makeover
GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on the Geneva auto show (all times local):
Volkswagen is giving the renowned dune buggy a makeover for a digitized and environmentally-conscious era, presenting a noise- and pollution free concept car billed as just as much fun in the sands as its petrol-powered forebears.
Volkswagen has trotted out a sleek, lime-green concept car known as the “ID. Buggy” for its most eye-popping premiere at the Geneva auto show. The roof- and door-less vehicle aims to evoke the more leisurely side of electric mobility.
The buggy has ultra-wide 18-inch wheels — perfect for plowing through and kicking up sand — and offers a nod to waterfront fun: The two-seater has water-resistant seats with a tiny drain to siphon off excess water, and a honeycomb drying rack in the back.
In a cutesy, digital-era touch, the pedals feature “Pause” and “Play” symbols on the brake and accelerator.
Volkswagen, which concocted a dune buggy in the 1960s based on the chassis of the famed Beetle, says it will open up the “ID. Buggy” to external manufacturers who may want to build it in different versions.
The German automaker, whose image took a ding over a diesel-engine emissions scandal, predicts it will have more than 20 all-electric models in its lineup by 2025.
Daimler head Dieter Zetsche says the company plans to meet “very ambitious” European Union limits on auto emissions but added that achieving those goals will depend in part on consumers’ willingness to buy more battery-powered cars.
Carmakers must meet lower limits on carbon dioxide that will come into force in 2025 and 2030 as part of the EU’s effort to fight climate change, or pay fines.
Zetsche said Tuesday at the Geneva auto show that the company could control its development of zero emission cars but also depended on customer behavior and the promotion of charging infrastructure.
He said that “our clear goal is to achieve the requirements and we proceed on the assumption that we will, but I have only noted not everything is completely under our control.”
Lamborghini is vying for the younger — and decidedly well-heeled — set with the rollout of its new convertible Huracan EVO Spyder.
Featuring hybrid aluminum and carbon-fiber frame and gas-guzzling seven speeds, the Huracan was promoted in a glitzy video at the Geneva auto show on Tuesday that depicted an ultra-rich couple racing his-and-her models in green and red.
The new edition of the fabled Italian brand’s most successful V10 features “integrated vehicle dynamics,” with a centralized controller that can predict the driver’s intentions and adapt the car’s behavior to them.
That can help the driver to “have more fun than before,” CEO Stefano Domenicali told The Associated Press.
He said a lot of work was put into the aerodynamics, and connectivity was added to the design for the first time — “which is something that, for the young generation, is vital for the future.”
Domenicali said the price in Europe, depending on the country and taxes, would be about 220,000 euros (about $250,000), plus additions for options.
Carmakers at the Geneva International Motor Show are unveiling new electric vehicles they hope will transform the industry as well as the high-end sports cars that are a fixture at the show.
Volvo Car Group’s Polestar is showing off a battery-powered compact car while Volkswagen is touting the whimsical ID. Buggy electric, a dune buggy with waterproof seats and holes to drain off the water after surfing. Honda is also showing a battery vehicle.
Lamborghini has the Huracan EVO Spyder convertible with a top speed of 325 kph (202 mph). Pininfarina on Tuesday unveiled the Battista, a battery powered speedster that can hit 100 kph (62 mph) in less than two seconds.
European automakers are rolling out more electric cars to meeting tougher limits on greenhouse gas emissions.