Volkswagen is rumored to be preparing to bring back the iconic Microbus as a dedicated electric vehicle. Citing sources close to the German automaker, AutoCar is reporting that the Microbus will come back with a throwback design and tons of new technology.
The report claims that the new Microbus will be based on VW’s MEB architecture, which was previewed at the Paris Motor Show with the ID Concept car. In this case the MEB platform will be slightly modified for a longer wheelbase and wider track, but the flat-floor and rear-mounted electric motor that are hallmarks of the MEB will be retained for the Microbus. The report is claiming an electric range of around 500 km (310 mi) for the new Microbus.
What this means is that the Microbus will really be paying homage to the original version, because the new one will be rear-wheel-drive just like the 1950 model. It is worth noting that the MEB platform is capable of offering all-wheel-drive as well, but it is unclear if VW will offer it on the Microbus.
Another throwback element to this new electric vehicle is the alleged design. The report claims that the proportions of the new Microbus will closely mirror those of the original, including an upright windscreen and iconic side window profile. It helps that the electric drivetrain footprint is very similar to that of the powertrain footprint in the original Microbus, allowing the designs to be similar.
VW will allegedly have two fixed-hinge front doors and two sliding rear doors on the new Microbus. Another hallmark of the new one will be tons of the technology, including a large-screen instrument cluster and VW’s latest autonomous driving features.
A timeline for a return of the Microbus is not yet clear. Nonetheless, this could be the iconic product that finally changes the conversation from diesel-gate to something positive for VW.