A panoramic sunroof bathes passengers with sunlight while they play with the removable iPad user interface. The iPad controls navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and stereo functions. Climate control settings are set via conventional switches. Air vents on the dash continue the slim outlet theme seen on the nose.
A color multifunction display shows pertinent vehicle data and operates in conjunction with the iPad. Long gone is the gearshift; in its place is a relay switch. Tunes are provided by Fender, the American brand famous for its amplifiers and guitars.
In the concept, a nose-mounted 114 horsepower electric motor making 199 pound-feet of torque gets its juice from a 40 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and propels the front wheels to a top speed of 87 mph. Stomp on the accelerator from a standstill and VW says the 3190-pound Bulli can pull to 62 mph in 11.5 seconds. Engineers also say the setup is good for some 186 miles on a single charge, and that it can be recharged in just one hour with the correct (unspecified) outlet. We'll believe all that when we see it.
Just in case, VW made sure the motor bay can fit a variety of the brand's 1.0-liter and 1.4-liter gas or diesel direct-injection engines if the Bulli does make it to production lines.
Prior to the Bulli, VW execs, designers, and engineers were deadlocked on how to reintroduce a model that referenced its successful buses. It seems VW has figured out what it wants to do, which means the legendary people-mover that Pon conceptualized some 50 years ago could continue on in a few years' time.