Volkswagen Finally Confirms Production of 'Microbus-styled' Vehicle

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volkswagen finally confirms production of 8216 microbus styled vehicle

After countless false starts and endless teasing, Volkswagen seems prepared to deliver on a modern-day microbus. While VW’s T platform is still in existence, the Type 2 that we all know and love died in the late 1970s — though society since developed a deep-seated nostalgia as we collectively forgot how disgusting and impractical real-world hippie culture actually was.

The world has asked for a throwback model for quite some time, something Volkswagen appeased with a 15-year stretch of concept cars, culminating in the 2017 I.D. Buzz revealed in Detroit in January. Then, earlier this year, gossip circulated indicating the Buzz might actually enter production, using the company’s MEB modular electric-vehicle architecture. But those were just rumors, right?

Apparently not. Volkswagen’s brand head, Herbert Diess, confirmed production for the electrified box last week using some definitive language.

“Emotional cars are very important for the brand,” Diess told AutoExpress during the reveal of the new VW Polo. “We are selling loads of Beetles still, particularly in US markets. But we will also have the Microbus that we showed, which we have recently decided we will build.”

I assume we are all equally elated that he called it “the Microbus” and not “the Buzz.”

Having dumped the atrocious name, the electrified bus should still resemble the concept vehicle in form — toned down for the masses, of course. The I.D. Buzz claimed an optimistic 373 mile range on a single charge using the New European Driving Cycle. Realistically, the MEB platform could be capable of surpassing the 200 mile mark when it finally enters production. Assuming it keeps the Buzz’s dimensions, Volkswagen could install a sizable battery pack beneath the floor or offer a variety of capacities to mitigate cost of entry.

The production Microbus is unlikely to have the concept’s LED strip headlights and taillights, hopefully opting for something retro and round. Because, if you’re going for a throwback model, you might as well go whole hog. It’s also not going to possess the complete autonomy VW pitched at the auto show unless the company plans on holding off production for a decade or two. But the German automaker has waited long enough. Further postponing a family-friendly and practical EV with unlimited nostalgic appeal doesn’t seem like a sound business decision.

Volkswagen building the Microbus plays right into its current impetus to construct more EVs and fewer small cars. As long as they deliver something halfway decent, it should appeal to everyone who hasn’t adamantly sworn off electric drive. Perhaps if they do it right, it might even change the minds of a few people who have.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jun 20, 2017

    Only rich hippies will be buying this. It will certainly need a 100 kWh battery, and will likely cost $60k+.

    • Pig_Iron Pig_Iron on Jun 21, 2017

      Yup, and that's a tiny demographic. I do see a Honda Element scenario though, where it is bought by empty-nesters for its' utility; but again it's not a volume demographic. The Mazda5 is/was awesome, but it couldn't generate sufficient numbers for long term survival.

  • Colin42 Colin42 on Jun 21, 2017

    Why wait!? For $130k you can get an electric bus now.

  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.