Microbus-inspired mini MPV gets bosses' approval
Steve Cropley Autocar
13 August 2011

Volkswagen chiefs are “very serious” about putting a conventionally powered version of the Bulli electric MPV concept into production as the second strand of a VW heritage range alongside the new Beetle.

The car, whose styling recalls the Microbus of the 1960s, was first shown in Geneva last March and drew immediate acclaim.

See pics of the VW Bulli concept

The Bulli is a five-seater that’s slightly bigger overall than a Polo. It is believed to be earmarked for production at VW’s plant in Puebla, Mexico, where the third-generation Beetle is made using VW’s latest modular platform. This plant is also due to begin production of a Beetle cabrio early next year.Insiders believe the Bulli would rapidly become a cult car and sell especially well in the US, where the Microbus is fondly remembered. Production could start for the 2014 model year.

“As a designer, I am convinced by this idea,” says group design chief Walter de’Silva. “We don’t have a space for another conventional MPV, but this one would be desirable on a different level, combining practicality with the heritage appeal.”

VW bosses believe the firm must do more to emphasise its heritage in the face of accelerating Korean and Chinese competition. De’Silva believes the Bulli’s role in building VW’s heritage should be counted as part of its business case.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK