Way back in 2011, Volkswagen debuted the impossibly cool VW Bulli concept, which was basically an electric modern day version of the storied Microbus. Despite looking rather production-ready at the Geneva show where it debuted, we haven’t heard much about the Bulli or a Microbus revival since.
The Bulli may not have reached production, but its spirit is destined to live on if a new report from Autocar rings true. The publication has it on good authority that VW is preparing a new electric Microbus concept to debut at CES Las Vegas 2016, after which VW chairman Martin Winterkorn will announce a new production version of the people mover with electric, gasoline and diesel engines on offer.
Sources say the production Microbus will be smaller than the current Multivan, meaning it will likely have similar proportions to the Bulli concept. The electric variant will use the same zero local emission driveline found in other electric Audi vehicles such as the R8 E-Tron, providing a range of 250 to 310 miles. Fossil fuel powered variants will likely use the same engines found in other compact VW models, such as the Golf’’s 1.2-, 1.4- or 1.8-liter gas engines.
The decision to green light a production Microbus is said to be a part of a larger VW plan to boost sales in North America. VW has reportedly also considered bringing a pickup truck with multiple body styles to North America under the same plan.