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Iconic VW Microbus, Reimagined as an EV

Volkswagen has “reinterpreted” the Microbus as an electric vehicle. With four doors. And an iPad.

It’s called the Bulli, which is what Germans called the Microbus when it appeared in 1950. Aside from the bench seats, two-tone paint and oversized badge, this concept has little in common with the Transporter that inspired it.

Well, that’s not quite right. The Bulli is glacially slow like the Microbus. The 3,200-pound vehicle trundles to 62 mph in 11.5 seconds. Propulsion, such as it is, comes from an 85 kilowatt [113 horsepower] motor that draws power from a 40-kilowatt-hour lithium ion pack. That’s huge — the pack in the Nissan Leaf is 24 kWh — and claimed range is 185.4 miles. Top speed is limited to 87 mph, presumably to maximize range.

The Bulli is a bit smaller than the VW Golf, with room for five. It’s got a panoramic sunroof, a minimalist dashboard and an iPad dock for all your infotainment needs. We like it. It’s small, it’s handsome and it’s got a quirkiness we love.

VW unveils the Bulli this week at the Geneva auto show and says it “has the potential” for production, though we doubt their claim that “the Bulli could even become an icon” like the Microbus. VW says a small gasoline or diesel engine will fit under the hood, making it it more likely the Bulli could become reality.

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Posted in Technology & Trends

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