Geneva 2011: Volkswagen Bulli
New ‘Microbus’ is one of the stars of the show. But will it ever make it to production?
Volkswagen's design chief Klaus Bischoff looked at his new Bulli concept, turned to TopGear's reporter and asked, ‘Well, at the moment is there an MPV that you would actually WANT to buy?' Well, no there isn't, really. Certainly not VW's own Touran, we're thinking Mr Bischoff.
Which is why they made the Bulli. An MPV with the potential to be a cult production car. It's a two-row three-abreast MPV with a lot of cues recalling the original VW Microbus. We think it's one of the cars of the show.
VW has been here before. In 2001 it showed another Microbus concept. But that never made production. Why come sniffing around the idea a decade later? Well the 2001 car was too big for Europe, so would have sold in the US only and they couldn't make a sound business out of it. This one is smaller so would fit the roads over here too.
It's about the same length as a Polo but wider than a Golf, with the wheels pushed right to the ends to give loads of space. And these same proportions wouldn't have to be diluted for production because it uses VW's new modular platform which can be made in all sorts of dimensions.
The concept car has an electric powertrain, but the real thing would have the usual VW petrol and diesel engines.
The interior is beautifully clean, with versatile seating that even folds flat to make a double bed. Better than a tent when you're at the summer festivals, and you don't even need chemical assistance to think it's a looker.
This isn't one of those production cars disguised as a concept car, like the Ford B-Max. It's an actual concept car. It hasn't got the go-ahead yet, even though something very like it could be built in three or four years. Whether it gets the nod depends on what people like you think, oh TG.com reader. So add your comments below.