Volkswagen: this is "most realistic" Microbus concept yet | Top Gear
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Detroit Motor Show

Volkswagen: this is "most realistic" Microbus concept yet

Electric VW I.D. Buzz concept might actually get made. Fingers crossed...

Published: 11 Jan 2017

Volkswagen used the Detroit motor show to display its latest Microbus-inspired concept. The I.D. Buzz is the fourth concept in recent history to shamelessly ape the classic 21-window bus, for those who are counting. Like us.

We only do so, though, because we’re desperate for one to finally be built. And this one, according to VW board member Jürgen Stackmann, might be the one that finally makes it to production.

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“I think this is the most realistic shot ever at a Microbus coming,” he says, “and we have to see in the next weeks how big a potential market in the US for us could be. It's basically recreating a known market. I don’t think the market for conventional MPVs is big enough, but this actually combines functionality, space, command seating position with something which is unique.

“We are convinced that electric mobility has to have function, has to have usability, it has to have a sense of a meaningful way of transportation. If we can bring something to life which people will want, electric vehicles will work.”

People will certainly want this, we wager. In the flesh, it’s properly big: think a VW Touareg SUV, only taller. Its tiny overhangs help it in looking significantly dinkier than most minivans and 4x4s, though.

It is, according to Stackmann, the ‘extreme’ end of what’s possible with VW’s new electric car platform, with the more conventional I.D. hatchback at the other. That will be on sale in 2020, but we can expect three more I.D. concepts in the interim, showing what else the platform can host. We’d suggest there’ll be an SUV among that lot, and it’d be nice to see a sports car, too.

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VW’s electric push will be significant. “We will continue to develop petrol engines for the next generation. We will continue to work on diesel, because diesel remains part of our footprint over in Europe and India. And yet, we have to press Volkswagen to become a company that is ready for electric, ready for connected cars.

“I think the fascination about electric cars is there when you can afford the car, it's sexy, it's fun to own, it's fun to drive, and you want to be seen in one because it's cool. And I think that's what we envision to do in three years’ time: to offer something really cool, which people will want to have. It's as simple as that.”

Well, Jürgen, we really want to have a production-ready Microbus concept. Let us know if you concur below…

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