This black van might look like a regular VW Transporter, however underneath the facade is the platform that will underpin the electric Kombi. 
- shares

The fully electric Volkswagen Kombi of the future is a step closer to reality, with spy photos out of Germany revealing an early test mule disguised as a regular Volkswagen Transporter van.

While at first glance it looks like a VW Transporter with wide tyres, closer inspection shows it has a lower and wider stance, with fender flares helping accomodate a wider footprint.

How do we know this is a test mule for the electric VW Kombi (also known as the VW iD Buzz)?

Well, we don’t know for sure but the number plate on the back could be one clue.

The word “Elektrofahrzeug” in German literally translates to “Electric vehicle”, and the vehicle was being towed into an engineering centre.

Car companies often cloak current bodies on top of the underpinnings of future vehicles so they can keep the styling a secret while testing on public roads.

However, even the most convincing mules have telltale signs such as unusual bodywork or add-ons. In some cases the bodies of the mules need to be slightly longer, shorter, or wider than the original design, to accommodate the new architecture.

The electric Volkswagen Kombi is due on sale some time in 2022 or 2023. Volkswagen Australia has previously expressed interest in such a vehicle, but nothing has been confirmed.

For now, Volkswagen isn’t giving anything away – here or overseas. However the company has said previously it plans to introduce both passenger and van versions of the future electric Kombi.

It’s unclear whether the iconic Kombi name will be revived or if the model will adopt the new ID Buzz and ID Cargo tags, with both names having previously been used on electric Volkswagen van concepts in recent years.

A report by motor1.com says battery capacity could vary from 48 kWh to 111kWh, and some models will have a maximum unladen range of 550km.

Rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions are also expected, the website reported.