VW's re-interpretation of the classic small people-carrier could be destined for production
1 March 2011

Volkswagen says it is “finishing what it started” with a second generation of reborn Microbus concept - a clear indication that this re-interpretation of the classic small people-carrier could be destined for production.

Unveiled this week at Geneva, the Bulli carries the name given to the original 1950s Transporter 1 in several markets, including Germany. It follows on from the 2001 concept that came out of VW’s Californian studio (see sidebar) but has been styled by the VW Group’s design chief, Walter de’Silva, and VW brand design chief Klaus Bischoff.

See official pics of the VW Bulli concept - now updated with Geneva show pics

The six-seat concept is 3.99 metres long, 1.75 metres wide and 1.7 metres tall. It’s powered by an 85kW electric motor, fuelled by a 40kWh lithium-ion battery that gives a range of up to 300km. The Bulli can reach 62mph in 11.5sec and an electronically limited top speed of 87mph.

VW does admit that the layout would easily suit 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrol and turbodiesel motors, however.

The car’s cabin features a removable iPad as a centre console, a stowable rear bench seat that can increase cargo capacity to 1600 litres, easy reclining seats to create a compact camper, and a stereo developed with Fender to make all music sounds as though it is being performed live.

VW says the car “has the potential to establish a new, fifth brand of people carrier next to the Caddy, Touran, Sharan and Caravelle”, but sources in Germany indicate that the car already has the green light for production. It will be based on a longer version of Volkswagen’s Golf platform (MQB) - either that destined for the next-gen Touran, or the set-up used for the recently launched US-market Passat.

John McIlroy

See all the latest VW reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run