The Volkswagen Kombi could make a return as an all-electric people mover.
Sources have told Autocar that the German automaker is planning to revive the Microbus, commonly referred to as the Kombi in Australia.
Instead of using a four-cylinder boxer engine, the new model will be based on the company’s flexible MEB electric car architecture.
According to the report, the standard setup for MEB cars includes an electric motor for the rear wheels, with power and electrical gear under the front bonnet, and a liquid cooled lithium-ion battery pack under the car’s floor.
Above: Volkswagen ID concept.
Such a layout would allow the resurrected Kombi/Microbus to claim some sort of connection to the original Type 2 van, which shared its rear-engine layout and boxer engine with the Beetle.
All-wheel drive versions of the new Kombi are possible too with the addition of a small electric motor for the front axle.
The MEB setup made its official debut this year with the Volkswagen ID concept, which is around the same size as the Golf and has a 125kW electric motor.
A wider, longer version of the MEB platform will be reportedly be used for new Kombi/Microbus. Measuring around 4.9 metres long, the Kombi EV will have space for three rows of seats.
Above and top: Volkswagen Budd-e concept.
Early design mock-ups of the people mover are said to feature two doors up front, a sliding passenger’s side door, and enough underfloor space to hold a battery capable of delivering up to 500km of range.
A revived Kombi could draw styling inspiration from the Budd-e concept, which is about 4.6m in length and was unveiled this year’s CES.
If this Kombi story plays out as outlined, the new people mover should be the second production model launched off the MEB platform. The first, a version of the ID, is due to hit showrooms in 2020.