The Wagen Bus has come back to the modern age!
While futuristic electric vehicles (EV) are released one after another, Volkswagen has unveiled a retro EV “e-BULLI.” You may be familiar with this car. In fact, it is the Wagen Bus that can be seen in movies describing hippie culture and is used in fashionable catering vehicles.
The BULLI, which means “Bulldog” in Germany, is a famous car that can be regarded as a synonym for Volkswagen, as well as the Beetle. This time, a concept model that has been fully transformed into EV from the first-generation Transporter (commonly known as T1), that actually ran for half a century in California, has been announced. It was developed in cooperation with Volkswagen and eClassics, which specializes in vintage car conversions.
Regarding the specifications of the advanced EV, the 43-hp engine was replaced to the 82-hp electric motor, and the maximum speed has evolved from 105km/h to 130km/h. The lithium-ion battery enables it to run 200km on a full charge and can be charged to 80% in 40 minutes. The LED indicator on the rear of the vehicle allows you to find the amount of charge without getting into the car while charging.
The company has been thoroughly focused on evolution not only in the specifications but also in the exterior and interior: two-tone metallic paintwork and round LED headlamps, roof console with embedded tablet, original speedometer with embedded digital panel, leather seats, wood panel flooring, etc. While keeping the original concept of the Wagen Bus, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles design center produced the vehicle with a modern design, blending the past and the present.
In addition, information such as remaining charge time, miles traveled, trip times, and energy consumption can be acquired through smartphone applications. For audio equipment, Bluetooth and USB connections are available while keeping the appearance of the retro-style radio.
There are two ways to get such an attractive e-BULLI: purchasing the completed e-BULLI or asking to modify your Wagen Bus. Prices vary depending on the type of car you have, starting from €6,900 (approx. 7.7 million yen) for T1, €5,500 (approx. 6.2 million yen) for T2, and €5,900 (approx. 6.25 million yen) for T3. The company is also offering a parts kit to qualified dealers.
Volkswagen is also working on an “I.D. Buzz” project to revive the Wagen Bus as a fully electric vehicle model in 2022. Wagen Bus fans may not be able to decide which they will purchase the ultra-modern I.D. BUZZ in anticipation of self-driving, or the e-BULLI that combines old-fashioned appearance and modern technology.
By the way, eClassics is working on the conversion of classic cars, in addition to the Wagen Bus introduced above, into EVs. If you have a love for old cars, you are recommended to check it out as an enthusiast.