Volkswagen Finally Confirms Production of '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.
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Only rich hippies will be buying this. It will certainly need a 100 kWh battery, and will likely cost $60k+.
Why wait!? For $130k you can get an electric bus now. http://www.zelectricmotors.com