The dream is set to come true for hippies and fans alike - the Volkswagen Microbus is going to return, for real, in 2022.
The German company announced that the all-new model will be shaped on the I.D. Buzz concept electric van, which debuted earlier in 2017 at the Detroit motor show. Keeping things Stateside, the news came ahead of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where spectacular vintage cars are shown in as-new condition.
"This vehicle unites past and future as well as Pebble Beach and the Silicon Valley," said Volkswagen chairman of the board, Herbert Diess. "The vehicle is an important pillar in Volkswagen’s electric drive initiative and carries the Microbus driving feeling into the future."
Before the new Microbus model arrives in 2022, there'll be a production Volkswagen I.D. hatch, which will have a 600-kilometre range and cost $40,000. We knew VW was keen to build a production version of the I.D. Buzz - it was 'approved' back in June, but this confirmation, with a production date set, means a successor to the Kombi will finally, actually happen.
Apparently it'll look pretty similar to the I.D. Buzz, too. Volkswagen says "many design ideas from the concept car" will be incorporated in the production model, and that it will "feature variable seating, interactive connectivity and highly automated driving".
"After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from
customers who said, 'please build this car'," Diess said. "The Microbus, which is what the Bulli is called in America, has always been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by developing Volkswagen’s next generation and by reinventing the Bulli as an electric vehicle."
And just like the Kombi, or Bulli, or Microbus, or whatever you want to refer to it as, it'll also be offered as a cargo van. It is said to offer level-three autonomy, and the size of the I.D. Buzz concept means a production iteration may be about the same size as a Transporter... just to throw in another VW van name.
The I.D. Buzz concept spans 4942 millimetres long, 1976mm wide and 1963mm tall, and it will be based on the brand's all-new electric underpinnings.