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VW Buggy UP! Concept - Web Exclusive

Amid the raft of new concept cars at the Frankfurt Auto Show this month, one of the head-turners was Volkswagen’s bright orange buggy up!

Sep 28, 2011

Inspired by the Californian beach buggies of the 1960s, which were pioneered by people such as American Bruce Meyers, they took the simple, reliable Beetle chassis and engine but replaced the steel body with fiberglass, creating agile, fun vehicles that reflected the care-free Californian lifestyle.

That same feeling is encapsulated in the lightweight steel construction of the two-seat buggy up!, which brings the beach buggy up to date.

Based on the brand-new up!, the buggy up! keeps the up!’s reinforced underbody, running gear and drive technology, while the roof-less and door-less exterior was completely redesigned with a flatter hood and reworked bumpers. The ride height was also lowered 20mm.

The buggy up! does not have any C-pillars, and neither does it have a trunk like the standard up!. The trunklid is constructed from two pieces: the main part lifts upward like a sedan, but the section above the bumper folds down, like the tailgate on a pick-up, making it easy to stow bulky items. On top of the lid, there are tie-down straps for extra luggage.

Climb into the buggy and you’ll find specially designed neoprene-covered seats that are 58mm lower than those in the production up!. To match this, engineers reduced the angle of the height-adjustable steering wheel by four degrees to create a kart like driving position. Passengers also get something to hold on to, in the shape of a sturdy handle on the dash panel, because you never know what lies over the next dune.

Even if there are rainclouds over the next dune, that’s no problem for the buggy, because as well as a rudimentary fabric roof, the interior is completely waterproof. The seats have drains in them, as do the sills and floor. Even the controls for the iPod-compatible infotainment system are waterproof, and you can remove the entire module – including the integrated loudspeakers – to give you a sound system for a beach party.

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