It is rumoured that the classic camper-van will return with an all-electric derivative at the Consumer Electronics Show
Set for 2017 production at Volkswagen's Puebla factory in Mexico, the concept car will showcase the newly developed electric system as well as other contemporary connectivity technologies.
The zero local emission driveline, which relies on the Volkswagen Group’s latest lithium-ion battery technology as used by the Audi R8 E-Tron and Audi Q6 E-Tron Quattro concept, is claimed to provide a range of between 400 and 500km (250-310 miles) depending on the driving conditions.
The all-electric Microbus is planned to be offered alongside more conventional turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel powerplants on the production Microbus, which senior Wolfsburg sources describe as being smaller than the latest Multivan.
Speaking at the New York show earlier this year, a Volkswagen spokesman revealed that VW engineers and designers were working on a new Camper van concept using a small electric motor driving the front wheels and battery packs stored under the floor.
The spokesman told Autocar that the design of the original VW van was "so iconic" that any attempt at a new model would have to have three "very important" design cues: "First the wide, solid, D-pillar, second the boxy design of the centre section and, thirdly, the front end must have a very short overhang. The distance from the A-pillar to the front end must be very short."
The key to achieving the unique front-end design is the fact that an electric motor would allow a much lower 'bonnet line' than a conventional petrol engine. This, in turn, would allow the A-pillars to be placed much further forward than in a conventional MPV.
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