Volkswagen T1 e-Bulli – an electric 1966 ‘Samba Bus’
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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have taken the styling of a T1 ‘Samba Bus’ and given it an electric makeover with the powertrain and architecture from the latest available technology within the Volkswagen Group, dubbed the e-Bulli, so-named after the Bulli transporter vans of the ’60s and ’70s.
While its exterior appears to be entirely retro in line with the looks of the original T1, modern componentry has been selected, such as round LED headlamps which improve visibility at night while maintaining the T1’s aesthetic. A similar approach has been taken on the inside, with a speedometer design based on the original part while LEDs illuminate the gear selection for the automatic transmission. A ceiling-mounted console also features a tablet for access to the vehicle’s functions and information displays.
Technical details for this modernised retro shape have yet to be released, though this interpretation of the Bulli van will likely feature the MEB underpinnings of the forthcoming, all-electric I.D. Buzz. Though just a sole image is available for now, further details and images will be released later this month when the e-Bulli debuts at the 2020 Techno Classica in Essen, Germany where other electrified models will also be on display.
Having been confirmed for debut in 2022, the MEB platform-based I.D. Buzz will be engineered for both passenger and cargo-carrying variants, with a pair of 201 hp electric motors offering 369 hp in total system output via both front and rear axles, with a 111 kWh battery offering 600 km of range on the NEDC cycle. A rear-wheel-drive setup with 268 hp from a 83 kWh battery can also be offered.
As the I.D. Buzz has been confirmed to also feature an I.D. Buzz Cargo variant, the e-Bulli could also carry over the original’s dual-purpose functions in accommodating both passenger and cargo, should the modernised retro go into production alongside the I.D. Buzz range.