Rumored: Volkswagen Microbus Returns As EV
Gasoline, Diesel Models Will Also Be Offered
British automotive media site Autocar claims that Volkswagen will bring back a modern-day version of its iconic Microbus and will debut it at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A retro-modern revival of the Microbus has been hinted and rumored for some time, first with a 2001 concept and more recently by the Bulli concept. However, this time there will be a twist. The new model is expected to be an electric vehicle with a potential range of over 200 miles. The report says conventional gasoline and diesel models will also be offered as well.
In terms of size, the revived Microbus is rumored to split the difference between the current T6 Transporter (last sold in the U.S. as the EuroVan), and the Golf-based Bulli concept. The new Microbus is believed to be part of a bigger initiative by Volkswagen to increase its presence in the commercial vehicle market in the U.S. The design attributes identified as “very important” are a wide, solid D-pillar, a “boxy” center section, and a short front overhang. Current safety standards prevent the layout from the original rear-engine Microbus and Vanagon, in which the driver and front passenger’s legs were ahead of the front axle. The revived model is expected to be front engine and front-wheel-drive. The report claims the revived Microbus will be built in VW’s Puebla, Mexico, plant starting in 2017.