Kombi, Camper, Microbus, Type-2; call it what you will, the original VW van is one of the firm’s most enduring icons. Having shown off the Bulli Concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, VW is keen to bring the retro-styled MPV into production.
According to a report in Autocar, VW bosses are “very serious” about giving such a model the go-ahead for production, albeit minus the concept’s electric drivetrain.
Despite its slab-sided styling, the Bulli is actually a very compact MPV – a shade larger than a Polo – with seating for six and a basic facia that eschews conventional switchgear for ancillary controls (HVAC, audio etc.) in favour of an iPad dock that transfers such systems to the driver’s tablet.
Speaking with Autocar, VW’s chief designer, Walter de’Silva, stated: “As a designer, I am convinced by this idea. We don’t have a space for another conventional MPV, but this one would be desirable on a different level, combining practicality with the heritage appeal.”
VW bosses feel there is a need to emphasise its heritage, especially given the increasing market presence being absorbed by strong competition from Korea and China. As such, De’Silva believes that the Bulli’s role in building VW’s heritage should be counted as part of its business case.
Should the production Bulli get the nod, it’s likely to be built alongside the new Beetle at VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico – possibly in time for a 2014 launch.