Volkswagen has unveiled an all-new concept, the Bulli, at the Geneva Motor Show. It is a development of the Microbus concept which made its debut ten years ago as a next generation of VW people carrier – the first of which broke cover back in ‘50 with the Transporter.
More compact than the ‘01 concept vehicle, the Bulli is powered by an electric motor and fitted with six seats and infotainment control via iPad. It is front-engined and front-wheel drive. The Bulli measures slightly longer than a Golf. In relation to its width it has a wide track and very short overhangs at the front and back.
The energy source is a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is concealed in the sandwiched floor behind the sills and powers the Bulli’s electric motor. This engine produces 115 PS (113hp) of power and 192 lb-ft of torque and the theoretical driving range is up to 186 miles. With this electric motor, the new Bulli can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 11.5 seconds and go on to an limited top speed of 87 mph. The concept could also accommodate, as an alternative power source, one of Volkswagen’s efficient petrol and diesel direct injection engines.
Like the original Samba bus, the Bulli presented in Geneva has two-tone paint and a distinctive ‘V’ on the hood. Its 18” wheels with chrome hubcaps are another tribute to the bus. Inside the Bulli has six seats: three on a front bench seat (which can be split and folded) and three on the rear bench which can be folded flat to maximize loadspace – or turn into a bed!
A removable iPad in the center console serves as a multifunctional touchscreen. Along with Internet-based applications and the media center, it also handles phone and navigation functions.