German car-builder eClassics – a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles partner – has released its e-Bulli, a conversion package that takes a classic T1 Samba Bus and adds Volkswagen’s electric vehicle technology.
The e-Bulli was originally slated for debut at the Techno Classica 2020 trade fair, however due to the event’s postponement, Volkswagen has revealed the car online.
The car revealed by eClassics began life as a 1966 T1 Samba Bus from California. The firm adds a 45kWh lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor capable of producing 61kW and 212Nm.
These figures blitz the 32kW and 102Nm figures the T1’s four-cylinder boxer engine produced when it rolled off the production line in 1966, resulting in an electronically-limited 130km/h top speed compared to the 105km/h for the T1 in factory-specification.
Fast-charging at 50kW can revive a flat battery to 80 per cent in 40 minutes. Driving range is claimed at 200km.
Alongside P, R, N and D modes for the one-speed transmission, drivers can also select ‘B’ which adjusts how much energy the e-Bulli will regenerate under braking conditions.
Underneath, the e-Bulli’s Suspension has been modernised with a multi-link architecture in the front and rear, with coil springs and adjustable shock absorbers.
A modern take on the classic style applies to the exterior as well, with eClassics adding LED headlights and daytime running lights. A charge indicator on the rear also reflects the battery’s charge state allowing drivers to see charge status without having to enter the vehicle.
A metallic two tone paint coats the body, mixing ‘Energetic Orange Metallic' and 'Golden Sand Metallic Matte’.
The two-tone theme extends to the interior as well, with seats trimmed in ‘Saint Tropez’ and ‘Saffrano Orange’ with some trim pieces constructed from wood.
Drivers also get a modern reimagining of the T1’s cluster with a two-digit display. A retro-inspired radio features DAB+, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
The eClassic conversion begins at €64,900 (AU$120,370) for the T1. Volkswagen T2 and T3 can also be converted by eClassics.