Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Geneva 2011: Volkswagen's Bulli Microbus Concept in the Flesh

It has been ten long years since the last modern adaptation of the iconic Volkswagen T1. The Microbus concept captivated audiences in 2001 with its modern and evolved design that brought the famed hippie-cruiser into the 21st century. The new Bulli concept aims to bring back the sense of freedom and "free-love" in a more compact and environmentally conscious form.

Images of the Bulli have already been released yet there was still much anticipation for the official reveal from show-goers and Microbus fans alike. The new study is an pure electric vehicle that focuses on practicality and simplicity.

The interior is a delightful blend of VW's bauhaus, modern simplistic design and practicality. The 3x3 seating allows for a few of the drivers most personal friends to join in on a theoretical 300 km (185 mile) road trip before having to recharge. The Bulli's practicality doesn't stop there, the seats can retract to form a bed turning the mircobus into a little camper.

The Bulli is actually a concept that makes a lot of sense while also being highly practical. An electric vehicle harking back to the days of the start of the environmental movement; it's a genius idea.

No matter how futuristic the design is, there are many details and elements that pay homage to the original model and its following. A modern day Hippie mobile. Whether it be the two tone paint, classic hub caps and the improved audio system that ensures "the music sounds as though it were being performed live. At Woodstock in 1969. We now seem to know its target audience.

The cars small 40 kWh electric motor allows for a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint time of 11.0 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). So if you have the time to relax and watch the world go by, then this is the small EV for you. The modern take on a classic design is a unique step from Volkswagen and it is nice they let the Vision of the last model mature like a fine wine.

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