Electric car: Buggy concepts pile up but never materialize

The likelihood of a manufacturer producing anything resembling an electric buggy is close to zero. However, several manufacturers use this kind of machine as a concept car. The latest is signed by Dacia with its Manifesto.

They are often closer to the lunar rover than to a real vehicle that we might encounter on our roads. However, it is sometimes in this form, the buggy concept, that manufacturers present their vision of future mobility. On September 16, 2022, it will be Dacia’s turn to participate in this fun exercise with its Manifesto concept.

Dacia is not the only manufacturer that has ventured into this niche. Audi, Volkswagen, Citroën, Lexus or even DeLorean have already had fun with this kind of gear.

About the Dacia Manifesto Concept

As the name of Dacia’s concept suggests, it is essentially a manifesto. A vision of the future, which in the state will not give any vehicle that is marketed in this form. Dacia takes advantage of this presentation of the Manifesto to confirm that the brand specializes in robust and cool outdoor vehicles.

Dacia Manifesto concept with its unique and removable headlight. // Source: Dacia

What is interesting to remember about this concept is that it promotes the reduction of the CO2 footprint. However, this is not necessarily obvious when we currently think of Dacia. It is compact (3.6 m) and light, it could be quite effective in theory. The brand talks about “green motorization”, without saying more about its future vision on this issue.

The concept also honors recycled materials. A good number of the parts used for the bodywork and interior are made from recycled polypropylene. Cork replaces the leather and imitation leather that traditionally equip dashboards and steering wheels. The use of airless tires also goes towards the durability of the elements. With tires that can become indestructible, Dacia also aims to connect ecology and economy.

Interior of the Dacia Manifesto concept. // Source: Dacia

The choice of buggy is certainly justified to reinforce the fact that the vehicle is dedicated to pleasure and outdoor activities. Without distorting the message, we might as well have placed these elements on a slightly more urban vehicle of the same size with roof, doors and trunk. A kind of Dacia Spring from the future, but maybe the brand didn’t want to commit to making false promises. The production of a buggy is unlikely, a vision of the future Dacia spring could have created unnecessary expectations.

Other brands have also created buggies/SUVs without a market perspective

It is all the more surprising to see Dacia presenting a concept in the form of a buggy, when several other brands, especially European ones, have already had fun with this type of bodywork. Nevertheless, overall public feedback has been quite mixed.

At the end of August, it was the DeLorean brand that released a half-SUV, half-buggy concept car that left us a bit on the sidelines.

DeLorean Omega concept. // Source: DeLorean

Looking at the lines of the DeLorean model, it is also another concept, signed by Audi and presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019, that we thought of. If no vehicle should come to the general public from this machine, what will eventually come closest to it are the vehicles that the German manufacturer has entered in sports competitions, such as Dakar or Extreme E.

Audi AI: TRAIL quattro
Audi AI: TRAIL quattro. // Source: Audi

In fact, the Dacia manifesto is primarily reminiscent of a hydrogen concept signed by Lexus. At its compact size of a small adventurer, we find somewhat the same state of mind as in the Lexus ROV. Except that Dacia has brought a whole vision of sustainable development, absent from the Lexus concept.

lexus predator
Hydrogen Lexus ROV concept. // Source: Lexus

The real concept of the electric buggy that really got people talking about it is the ID. Volkswagen buggies. It might be a real mistake on the part of the German manufacturer not to try to make it happen. When it was presented in 2019, the vehicle received real recognition from the public. Is this enough to start producing such a machine? Probably not, but the brand has relaunched the ID. Buzz in the footsteps of his old Combi. In it. Buggy could have found an equally eccentric and nostalgic clientele from the past.

Volkswagen ID.  Buggies
Volkswagen ID. Buggies. // Source: Volkswagen

Finally, the only brand that has produced its imitation buggy is Citroën with its Ami limited edition buggy. You can make fun of it, but that is almost what has actually been marketed. Unlike other concepts, the Ami Buggy concept is becoming a reality and is not just there to impress the gallery at a trade show.

Citroen AMI Buggy. // Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

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