Monday, February 28, 2011

Volkswagen Bulli Concept is a Microbus redux

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Remember the 2001 Volkswagen Microbus concept? For those who need reminding, it was a new look at an old icon – one that got enthusiasts and the automotive press all hot and bothered right after we ticked over into the new millennium. Sadly, management changes at Volkswagen killed the concept before it could become a reality.

Now, a decade later, VW is trying out the concept again at this year's Geneva Motor Show. This time it's called the Volkswagen Bulli, and like its 2001 ancestor, this one is designed to carry on the legacy of the brand's famous Microbus. This Geneva concept packs a 113-horsepower electric motor drawing power from a lithium-ion battery pack. At full charge, the Bulli is said to be theoretically good for 186 miles before a recharge. When it's time for more juice, VW says the Bulli can be fully charged in less than an hour.

The Bulli's skin stays fairly true to the original Microbus shape, which means a flat load floor and plenty of interior space. Even old-school Samba fans will notice the family resemblance. Inside, VW supplied the Bulli with a removable iPad that controls the stereo, navigation, bluetooth and HVAC from its port on the console.

In a neat touch, the iPad will communicate with a Fender USA-designed stereo system, which should pump out more than enough roar for you and the kiddies.

No word on pricing yet or when the Bulli might be available, but we wouldn't expect it until 2014 if it reaches production at all.


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