Flowing super-blond hair, a big smile and the victory sign – that’s how Alex Hirschi finished her test drive with the ID. BUGGY in California. Meanwhile, her camera man positioned himself in front of the green beach cruiser. He is filming the car with a video camera and a smartphone at the same time, and taking photos as well. The 33-year-old Hirschi is all excited. “You have the wind in your hair. You can hear everything around you and you can feel that you are outside. That is very cool,” she says after her drive with the fully electric concept car of the Volkswagen brand.
Alex Hirschi is “Supercar Blondie”, one of the most well-known and successful motoring bloggers in the world. She has more than seven million subscribers on Facebook, 3.7 million Instagram followers and about 1.7 million YouTube subscribers. And now, she took the ID. BUGGY for a ride. “It’s a clever concept with a green, fully-electric buggy,” says the Australian national. “Hearing those waves crash is my favorite sound. You can only hear that when you sit in a completely silent car. That’s why, when you are out here, it makes sense to be able to hear nature instead of just your engine. It all fits together really well.”
Indeed, those who drive the ID. BUGGY get a whole new appreciation for what it means to drive silently and the difference between doing that in a closed car versus an open one. It’s just a more intense experience. The beach cruiser doesn’t have doors or a roof. Nothing hinders ambience sounds from getting to the driver and passengers, giving them a much more visceral experience. But they won’t hear the car itself. Only the tires crunching through the sand, the wind of the Pacific and the howl of California’s sea lions out on Bird Rock.
The ID. BUGGY is turning Heads
During the Monterey Car Week, the concept car takes its first drive on the roads and beaches of California. It stopped by at the McCall Motorworks Revival, posing between super jets and vintage cars and it drove down the famous 17-mile drive along the golf courts of Pebble Beach. Journalists, bloggers and influencers also got their chance to take the electric fun car out for a spin and enjoy a whole new experience.
“ A couple from France asked me where I bought this car,” says motoring journalist Ronan Glon from the US, following his drive. “They had seen the car in Geneva and I told them that this is the same car they saw. Later, a Ferrari driver waved at me. So, you really turn heads with this car.” A lot of unusual cars are on display at the Monterey Car Week. Fast cars, expensive cars, old cars and crazy ones. But everyone wants to take a picture of the ID. BUGGY.
The Historic Example
Above all, the ID. BUGGY illustrates the versatility of the modular electric drive kit (MEB). The car’s body can be removed from the MEB-chassis. In this way, Volkswagen opens up the platform and gives external manufacturers and start-up companies a lot of options for using their own creations. The historic example for this is the original buggy kit released by Meyers Manx. It was based on the VW Bug, back in the 1960s. Today, it’s a collectors’ item, displayed next to the ID. BUGGY.
“The ID. BUGGY is unique,” says Gabriel Gélinas of Guide de l’Auto from Canada, as he climbs out of the car. “When the Dune Buggy was invented, it was almost the same. Something complete different and something that had a very specific task. This car is a modern reinterpretation of that. This neo-retro look is really great. At the same time, it looks very futuristic. A really cool car.”
The Path to the Future
“It’s important that companies invest in electro-mobility, so that it can be put into many different models,” says supercar blondie when asked about the future of electric driving. “Volkswagen is such a massive company and they are multiplying this technology. That’s important because more and more people want to drive electric cars and we need more of them on the road.”
It’s easy to imagine many ID. BUGGYs on California roads. At this point, the car is still a concept. A very exciting one. And one thing is for sure: its inventors were all about enjoying the sun, the sand and the Pacific Ocean. That’s the preferred environment of the ID. BUGGY and that’s how it feels when you’re driving it.