VOLKSWAGEN has taken the covers off an all-new concept called the ‘Bulli’ this week at the Geneva Motor Show.
The Bulli might look a little bit familiar – that’s because it not only takes inspiration from the original 1950s Samba bus, but the Bulli is also a development of the Microbus concept that charmed VW enthusiasts back in 2001.
It’s more compact than the 2001 concept vehicle, though. The new 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, on a wheelbase measuring 2.62 metres, it’s slightly longer than that of a Golf. Its kerb weight is 1,450 kg.
This includes the weight of the energy source: a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is concealed in the sandwiched floor behind the sills and powers the Bulli’s electric motor. It produces 112bhp of power and 260 Nm of torque and the theoretical driving range is up to 186 miles.
0-60? That’s dealt with in 11.5 seconds, and the Bulli goes on to an electronically 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 bonnet; its 18-inch alloy wheels with stylised chrome hubcaps are another tribute to the Samba 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 maximise loadspace – or turn into a bed. A removable iPad in the centre console serves as a multifunctional touchscreen.