Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.

Subscribe To The Blog:

Follow Us

The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

VW Execs Want Production Bulli

Comments: Leave | View
On: Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 11:37AM | By: Chris Weiss

VW Execs Want Production Bulli

There are vehicles that automakers make because they're highly profitable bread-and-butter (think Hyundai Accords and Toyota Corollas). There are vehicles that automakers make to develop a little buzz around their brand and draw people into showrooms, even if the car in question isn't a big seller (think flashy, low-volume halo cars). And there are cars that companies make because they're so ingrained in the company's history and heritage that it would be a shame not to.

The Volkswagen Type 2, aka Minibus or Microbus, is a little bit of all three. Even those completely unfamiliar with Volkswagen's history and models could probably recall the Microbus. It's the type of distinctive vehicle that makes you stop and think "Nice. I want it." And if you happen to be stopped in front of a VW dealer, you might just be inclined to stroll in for more information. The Type 2's history at VW gives it a story rivaled only by that of VW's other icon: the Beetle (aka Type 1). In its heyday back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Type 2 was definitely more than just a funky, unique show piece; it was a popular market success.

So, it should be no surprise that in the wake of the 2011 Bulli concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen executives are excited about the potential return of the Bus.

According to Autocar, Volkswagen voices are getting serious about a market return of the Microbus. The company is considering a gasoline-powered version of the Bulli (the concept version was powered by an 85 kW electric motor) that would join the new Beetle in what's being called a 'heritage range.' If it's approved, it may hit the market as early as 2014 and will likely be built next to the Beetle at VW's Puebla, Mexico plant.

Though VW continues to make the Type 2/Transporter line today (it's now on the Type 2 T5 ), it moved away from the funky, iconic camper styling of the original T1 and T2 models in 1980. Today, the Transporter is no more intriguing or eye-catching than the Ford TransitConnect.

Volkswagen believes that by offering something more in line with the Transporter's heritage, it would be successful in stimulating sales, particularly in the United States where the Microbus was especially well-received. Such a vehicle would also help to distinguish the brand from its competitors, something that will only help in its attempt to become the world's largest automaker by 2018.

VW design chief Walter de'Silva is one of the voices lending support of the Bulli. "As a designer, I am convinced by this idea,” de’Silva told Autocar. “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."

The Bulli would have a five-seat layout, but there's no word yet on what specific powertrain would motivate it. We hope to report back on an official green light sometime in the near future.



dwalter | 12:48PM (Fri, Aug 19, 2011)


Leave A Commment

Allowed HTML tags: <a href=""> <abbr title=""> <b> <em> <i>
Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! rel="nofollow" is in use