The VW ID. Ruggdzz (Ruggedzz) could be back on the radar, as the business case for such an electric off-road SUV is stronger than ever before. Initially thought of as a niche, low-priority model, the ID. Ruggdzz now appears to have a significant role to play in Volkswagen’s electrification drive.
On August 26, 2020, CAR reported that a VW ID. Ruggedzz electric off-road SUV is to arrive in 2025, and then on October 8, 2020, AutoBild speculated the launch of the same model as VW ID. Ruggdzz in its magazine. Former Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Ralf Brandstätter then confirmed that the company had put this project on hold, Autocar reported on December 14, 2020. Moreover, the British publication reported that the company had created a full-scale design model of the future electric SUV, but it wasn’t going any further.
On January 23, 2023, Autocar reported that the VW ID. Ruggdzz project appears to be back on its feet. The British publication revealed that the media had already seen the concept version during a secret preview in 2019. However, with recent reports indicating that Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume isn’t content with the Volkswagen brand’s design language, we think a new concept with a fresh look could be the one that makes a public debut and inspires the production SUV.
Petr Sulc, Product Manager, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, has said that if the company partners with Ford for an EV (VW Amarok EV), launching an electric SUV (on the same platform) would make sense, Wheels reported on December 7, 2022. “Why? Because you will not be able to fulfill the volume requirement to utilize the investment only with one type of the car,” he explained.
Platform & specifications
The VW ID. Ruggdzz should sit on a modified version of the Amarok’s body-on-frame platform. Ford developed this platform for the Ranger pickup and Everest SUV. Also called PPVs (Pickup Passenger Vehicles), SUVs like the Everest which are derived from pickup trucks are popular in South East Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The modified platform for the EV application, too, will likely be a work of Ford.
Autocar says Volkswagen officials have acknowledged that an electric SUV like the VW ID. Ruggdzz would need at least 110 kWh of energy storage capacity for the appropriate towing capacity and driving range. And unlike the Amarok, which has a leaf spring rear suspension, the ID. Ruggdzz (just like Ford’s Everest) could switch to a multi-link rear suspension for comfort.
We think the VW ID. Ruggdzz is no longer a nice-to-have brand-building model but an intriguing part of Wolfsburg’s EV puzzle. As a derivative of the VW Amarok EV, the electric off-road SUV could arrive by 2027.
The VW ID. Ruggdzz’s production could take place at Ford’s joint-venture Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) plant, its wholly-owned Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) factory in Thailand, or at the Ford Motor Company’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa. Should Volkswagen Passenger Cars plan to launch it in the U.S., possibly as a Jeep Recon rival, it might want to manufacture it there to qualify for subsidies. We’ll have to wait for a while to know what is planned.
In contrast to the VW ID.4, the VW ID. Ruggdzz is expected to be bigger, tougher, and more capable, made for those who regularly drive off-road, whether on business or leisure. Even though the ID. Ruggdzz might not be as efficient, aerodynamic, or advanced as the ID.4, which may be in its second generation by the time it arrives, the sheer desirability of the old-school SUV could make up for these shortcomings!
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