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Volkswagen is adding another vehicle to the ID lineup. This time they're going big with an electric rugged 4x4 SUV.

AutoCar is reporting the electric SUV called the "Ruggdzz" would rival the rival the BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQB.

I hope this is an actual "rugged" SUV that is built to go off-road and not just a marketing plan. It would be something unique for Volkswagen to bring to the EV market.

Measuring 4600mm long in standard-wheelbase form, the four-wheel-drive SUV has been conceived to complement a number of more conventionally styled ID models, including the similarly sized ID 4 – a production version of the ID Crozz concept – which is set to be unveiled at the Detroit motor show in June.

Although it is still at a preliminary stage of development, the new ID model is expected to enter production in 2023 as part of a 30-strong SUV line-up planned by Volkswagen by the middle of the decade.

The Ruggdzz joins a production version of the ID Buzz, due next year, and a yet to be confirmed production version of the ID Buggy in an initial three-strong range of Icon models designed under the guise of newly appointed Volkswagen Group design boss Klaus Bischoff.

Those privy to an early styling model of the new Volkswagen SUV say it departs radically from the ID 4, with a distinctly boxy profile. It’s said to have a bluff front end with a full-width grille incorporating rectangular headlights, an almost horizontal bonnet, upright windscreen, nearly flat roofline and sheer sides.

The Ruggdzz is also understood to be distinguished from other ID models by a unique glasshouse treatment that makes the C-pillar appear translucent through the application of a glass panel on the outer body.

As well as a standard-wheelbase five-seater, Volkswagen has drawn up plans for an extended-wheelbase, seven-seat version of the Ruggdzz. This is likely to be aimed primarily at the Chinese and North American markets.

Autocar sources indicate that there could be a number of Ruggdzz derivatives, with the most extreme model featuring raised ride height and other off-road-inspired elements such as roof-mounted spotlights.

The basis for the new ID SUV is Volkswagen’s versatile MEB (Modularen Elektrik Baukasten, or modular electric toolkit) platform.

Technical details are scarce, although it is thought to use a twin electric motor set-up similar to that of the ID 4 to provide it with four-wheel-drive capabilities, including the ability to transfer drive to individual wheels for added traction in rugged terrain.

As well as providing the basis for the Ruggdzz, a similar MEB set-up is also planned to underpin similarly styled models from Volkswagen sibling brands Seat and Skoda, plus newly formed Chinese marque Jetta.
 

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Now there's reports saying this SUV will come in 2025 and it will replace the electric dune buggy. Apparently it's a pet project of CEO Herbert Diess

Volkswagen has all of its conventional ID models planned for the years to come, with everything from an ID 1 supermini to a massive ID 7 that will much like an electrified Touareg.

But the brand will go a little off-piste elsewhere in its electric range of models; VW hopes to offer up to four emotional niche e-products including this new ID Ruggedzz. This is a proper SUV, kind of an electric Defender for the not quite so wealthy.

From the flames…

VW’s cutesy ID Buggy is dead. Wolfsburg intended to contract low-volume production to e.Go Mobile in Aachen, until the small EV mobility specialist recently filed for insolvency. But expect the Ruggedzz to take design inspiration from the Buggy, including its chunky bumper arrangement, high ground clearance and off-road tyres.

VW’s cutesy ID Buggy is dead. Wolfsburg intended to contract low-volume production to e.Go Mobile in Aachen, until the small EV mobility specialist recently filed for insolvency. But expect the Ruggedzz to take design inspiration from the Buggy, including its chunky bumper arrangement, high ground clearance and off-road tyres.

The boss’s brainchild

All-electric and all-wheel drive, it started life four years ago as RUV, short for ‘rugged utility vehicle’, a pet project of CEO Herbert Diess. Cheap to build, easy to clean, flexible and affordable to run, the Ruggedzz will be aimed at the young outdoors and lifestyle crowd.

There’s a plan B

Before Bernhard Maier left Skoda, there were moves afoot to transfer the project there.

If Skoda does get Ruggedzz, VW is likely to go ahead with the Junglezz, a reimagined WW2 Kübelwagen – a no-frills transportation device that later spawned the 181 (below), or Trekker in the UK. Expect to see a show car in 2021.

Board member, Jürgen Stackmann, on the future of VW's electric cars

‘The electric-car era will force SUVs to change. We’ve always wondered what’s the next big thing after the SUV: it’s the fully electric SUV.

'With bespoke electric cars you can get a flat floor, you can push the front of the cabin to the front of the car and you have small overhangs and a long wheelbase.’



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