And here we were thinking that retro was dead… Last seen in 2001, the reborn classic Microbus (now named Bulli) could seemingly still make it to market!
To start off with, power will come purely from two electric motors that are supplied with energy by a lithium-ion battery with a maximum storage capacity of 40 kWh. This helps to deliver 85 kW and a very handy 260 N.m of torque. To accommodate the battery pack, the Bulli has a sandwich designed floor which doesn’t make too big an impact on the rear stowage capacity. According to Volkswagen this set-up provides enough to power the Bulli for a full 300 km before a recharge is necessary. And even this will only take around one hour.
The Bulli, with its 1 450 kg kerb weight, is able to accelerate to 100 km/h in 11,5 seconds before achieving a top speed of 140 km/h.
Another feature that distances this concept from the original Kombi and Microbus is the seat layout. There are only two rows, instead of the usual three, that can each take three passengers.
As can be seen in the pictures, especially the one showing the interior, the cockpit as viewed from the driver’s seat is very state-of-the-art. Instead of the usual centre console with all the necessary buttons, there's a dock for an iPad with which the driver can control the infotainment system – including the sound system, navigation and Bluetooth amongst others.
In 2001 Volkswagen showed off the Microbus Concept Car at the North American International Auto Show. That concept was never put into production. Will we see this concept make it to production? The chances seem a little better than before, especially since Volkswagen also mentioned in its press release that this Bulli concept can also be powered with engines ranging from 1,0- to 1,4-litres…