A next-generation Volkswagen Westfalia is slated to be unveiled on April 15th, meaning a new generation can get its camping on in the cozy confines of a German-built bus. While it will only be a concept to begin with, if Volkswagen does decide to bring the famous microbus back, it could be as an electric vehicle. That’s the word from AutoCar, which got the info from Volkswagen board member Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser.
The new Volkswagen Transporter would use a front-mounted electric motor with batteries installed beneath the floorboards, and its design is said to be heavily influenced by the microbus of yesteryear (which really only went out of production a few years ago). if Volkswagen could managed to bring the costs in line with expectations, than a concept could actually become a production model…especially if those 400-mile solid-state batteries work out. A 21st century Volkswagen Westfalia with days worth of electricity on board to power your outdoor adventure is a tempting thought indeed.
A word of caution though. Volkswagen has teased the idea of an electric Transporter revival before, most recently with the Bulli concept that debuted waaaay back in 2011. Four years later, and still no new microbus. However, electric vehicles are much farther along today than they were in 2011, and this time around Volkswagen might actually be able to make good on their promise.
In other words, it’s alright to get your hopes up, but be prepared for disappointment too.
My 21st century hippie wife will probably be the first person in line for one too. I’ll tell you what, it’d make a great vessel for travelling to music festivals. A plug-in hybrid would make even more sense for those who want to get as far removed from civilization as possible, but with 250 miles of range I could find plenty of peaceful places to park my electric Westfalia. Maybe this time, Volkswagen won’t wimp out.