VW Readies Buzzy New Electric Micro Bus

The long-rumored vehicle will debut at CES in Las Vegas next month.
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The long-rumored vehicle will debut at CES in Las Vegas next month.
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Back in 2011, Volkswagen unveiled a vintage micro bus-influenced concept car it called the Bulli, after the vehicle's German nickname, but not much has been heard of it since then. Until now.

British magazine Autocar.uk reports that Herbert Diess, head of passenger cars for VW, will introduce an all-new version during his speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January—and this time the concept could be headed into mass-production in the near future. 

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Whether this new vehicle will retain the Bulli concept's car-like hinged rear doors or return to van-style sliding doors remains a mystery, but a Volkswagen insider tells Maxim that Autocar's van news reporting "is not wrong."

The company continues to sell vans in other countries, but they are prohibitively expensive for U.S. tastes.

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In keeping with the strong electric vibe at CES, the company will show a battery electric van concept at the show, but conventional internal combustion versions of the van will also be available when it goes on sale. Currently, VW sells the excellent e-Golf to U.S. customers seeking battery electric drive.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, now-departed chairman Martin Winterkorn promised 20 new electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2020, so this new van would help the company reach that number.  “At a time of major social and technological upheaval, people expect new answers, new solutions and new directions from us,” he said.

Apparently, one way to deliver those new solutions is an an old box.

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