The Classic Volkswagen Microbus Could Return as an EV…Maybe

If rednecks and hippies share anything, it’s the fact that both groups have almost nothing in common. If you doubt this fact, then try asking members of each tribe to voice their opinions on war, gay marriage, or, if you really want to stir the pot, the current occupant of the White House. One thing that does unite both groups, however, is their mutual love for the VW Type II, better known in the United States as the Microbus. This iconic vehicle is beloved by folks from every part of the political/cultural spectrum. There are several reasons for this fact. One is the Microbus’s delightfully quirky looks; another is the distinctive sound of its air-cooled engine. Then there’s its sheer practicality. In its heyday, the Microbus was as good at carrying tools to the job site as it was at conveying flower children to a protest march. Surviving examples are enormously popular among collectors and restoration buffs. RELATED: See Photos of the 2001 Volkswagen Microbus Concept The suits at Volkswagen are well aware of this fact. That’s probably why they love teasing Microbus fans with rumors about the vehicle’s resurrection. In 2001, Volkswagen went and a new Microbus concept at the North American International Auto Show. The showcase machine was completely redesigned for the 21st century, including rear-view cameras and a liquid-cooled engine. Response was so huge that in 2002, Volkswagen announced the release of a new Microbus beginning in the year 2003. True to form, of course, the company delayed and then canceled the project, choosing instead to partner with Chrysler in building testosterone-destroying minivans. Volkswagen is nothing if not inconsistent, however. That’s why company spokesman Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser revealed this past week that the German automaker may soon release a next-generation Beetle — and, possibly, even a 21st century version of the Microbus. RELATED: See Photos of the Iconic 1965 Volkswagen T1 Splitscreen Bus Neusser said that the new vehicle would be built on the company’s highly successful MQB platform. He also said that the revamped ride would contain the “genetic code” of the original Microbus, including a “boxy” shape, a truncated overhang, and a widened D-pillar. Neusser also indicated that the updated vehicle would be battery-powered. Predictably, there is a giant 'if' attached to all this provocative talk. Before VW will lay down cold, hard cash for production models, it must first do the requisite marketing and engineering feasibility studies. Should the idea clear these initial hurdles, then we may— I emphasize “may” - see yet another concept version appearing at an auto show in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, original units are available at varying prices for those who just can’t wait for Volkswagen to make up its mind. All this zigzagging is enough to make even the gentlest hippie want to have a few words with VW’s CEO. That’s a sentiment that any self-respecting redneck can understand. RELATED: Updated Volkswagen Van Isn't For Us, Yet Photo Credit: RM Auctions ____________________________________ Click Here to Read the Original Article on BoldRide

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