The Volkswagen ID.4 crossover will lead the automaker’s electric-car push in the United States, but VW may have a second, more rugged-looking electric utility vehicle about the same size also in the works.
In 2025, VW is aiming to launch a very boxy EV called the ID Ruggedzz, according to CAR. The magazine described it as an electric Land Rover Defender rival “for the not-so-wealthy,” indicating significant off-road capability at a non-premium price.
That idea would fit right into the space long ago abandoned by the Honda Element—and likely, appealing to the people who lust after the recently-revealed Ford Bronco Hybrid.
Reportedly a pet project of VW CEO Herbert Diess, the ID Ruggedzz will get a 70-kilowatt-hour battery pack and dual electric motors, providing all-wheel drive and a combined 200 horsepower, according to the report.
Volkswagen ID Ruggedzz rendering, as featured in CAR magazine, September 2020
This follows up on an earlier report from months ago about the project. But the spelling of it appears to have changed from “ID Ruggdzz” to “ID Ruggedzz.”
The new report also claims a production version of the VW ID Buggy concept is dead, and that the ID Ruggedzz will replace it.
Unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the ID Buggy was based on the same MEB platform as other ID-family vehicles, but featured open bodywork inspired by classic Beetle-based dune buggies.
VW ID Buggy Concept first drive
While the ID Buggy may be dead, the ID Ruggedzz could serve as a modern interpretation of another classic VW—the Type 181, known as the Thing in the United States. VW is also planning a production version of the ID Buzz concept, inspired by the 1960s Microbus, for 2022.
Volkswagen has recently confirmed that its ID.4 crossover is due for first deliveries late this year, with U.S. construction to start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2022.
This upright, rugged model might be a good model to bring back after MEB vehicles get a battery upgrade, as its aerodynamics would likely have a pronounced effect on range outside city driving.