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Not Your Dad's VW Bus

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On: Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 2:44PM | By: Karen Cook

Not Your Dad's VW Bus

Remember Punch Buggy? I wasn't the best player. Being easily distracted by conversation, I forgot to look for Bugs. Depending on the rules where you grew up, which varied by region as far as I can tell, VW Buses were worth two punches. We still play the game, but the double-punch vehicle is rarely seen anymore. That could change next year.

2014 should see the first Volkswagen Bulli on the road. "Bulli" is the name the old Bus had in Europe. Americans called it the "Microbus". It has the VW logo on the front but outside of that it doesn't look much like the old Bus. It's sleeker and less boxy. It doesn't look like something hippies or even teenagers would hang out in. The paint is a new two-tone design which VW plans to use on other models next year, as well. It's pretty but very modern, much like the New Beetle colors.

The interior seats five (or possible six) and has all the technology you'd expect in a modern vehicle. Apple has designed the control system on a flat screen device that serves as odometer, GPS, and audio system. It also provides fun and helpful information while you drive and has controls on the steering wheel. The Bulli does come with a manual transmission, if you choose, but that's where the retro stops. It's not as roomy as the original and it maxes out at 56.5 cubic feet with all the seats folded so although you could get your drum set, guitars and amps in, there's no room for the band. The back seats make a bed to sleep only two, but the rest of the seating is roomy enough for modern tastes.There is talk of a pop-up camper option complete with a stove which feels a little more free-spirited than the looks would imply.

The whole thing is built on a Golf Chassis to provide an electric option, which is suitably earth-friendly and it also comes in several all gas versions. Of course, There may be a hybrid version, too. The engine itself has been moved from the back to the front, as was done with the Beetle. It has a moderate starting price of $30,000. The new model is definitely safer, having lost the flat front and I'm sure it's more comfortable, but drivers are not fooled. The new take on the old Bus may be a good vehicle, but it's not fit for Woodstock and it's not your Dad's VW Bus.


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