According to Digital Trends, a new VW microbus may be in the works.
Like the 2001 concept pictured above, the updated model will share three important styling cues with the original “hippy” Bus.
Hans-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen’s development chief, explains:
“First the wide, solid, D-pillar, second the boxy design of the center section and, thirdly, the front end must have a very short overhang. The distance from the A-pillar to the front end must be very short,” he said.
In an interesting twist, the new vans may be powered by electric motors. According to Digital Trends:
The concept will usher in a new all-electric drivetrain that will power Volkswagen’s upcoming battery-powered models. Technical details are still few and far between, but it will allegedly be built using components borrowed from the Audi R8 e-tron and the Audi e-tron quattro concept that will be shown shortly at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The van will offer a maximum driving range of anywhere between 250 and 310 miles thanks to recent advances in lithium-ion battery technology.
If the rumors are true, the vehicle will make its entrance as a close-to-production concept car next January at next year’s edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Volkswagen says the vehicle “marks the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electromobility,” according to USA Today.
The show car will be toned down slightly and added to the Volkswagen lineup as a regular production model in time for the 2018 model year, coming out in 2017, according to bakersfieldnow.com. It will reportedly be built alongside the Beetle and the Golf in Puebla, Mexico, a factory that previously churned out the original Bus and the original Beetle.
According to Digital Trends, an electric version might be offered at launch, but buyers will also be able to choose from turbocharged gasoline- and diesel-burning engines sourced from the Volkswagen parts bin.