Volkswagen Microbus 2014 and Concepts of the Past

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Volkswagen has a long history of threatening to bring back the classic Volkswagen Microbus, with lots of concept cars produced, but no versions that are actually available in the United States. I’ve gotten excited about every potential version and blogged about it repeatedly, but we never actually see anything interesting come out of it.

I got excited this morning about an article claiming that a version would come out this year, with photos of round headlights that I had never seen before. For a bit I actually bought it, although I shouldn’t have. When you compare the photos in the article to the 2001 model, it becomes clear that this is a photoshop job where they altered the front of the 2001 and put in rounded headlights. And also, Car Talk announced last August that the long-planned 2014 version was killed off.

2014 Microbus Front

2014 Microbus Side

2014 Microbus Rear

The text from the faked article is cribbed from 2011 articles on VW’s concept. Sadly, this is what could have been:

Volkswagen Microbus 2014 is ready to show its new model of microbus until the last 10 years ago VW shows off microbus segment. This car will be built in Europe and would become the competitor of Honda Adyddey, Nissan Quest, and also Toyota Sienna. The final motivation for this New VW Microbus is to maximize the investment in the group MQB “matrix” platform. Volkswagen Microbus 2014 price will start from $30,000, but we expect it to be closer to $40,000. Volkswagen Microbus 2014 Release Date is held in the fall of 2013 with sales beginning in 2014. Interior, it is design in minimalist concept on 2014 Volkswagen Microbus. There are gauges and control group around the steering wheel and also pair of slim-section 3-passenger bench seats which can be folded to create a makeshift bed.

Volkswagen Microbus styled under VW Geoup design, Walter deSilva and also VW brand deputy, Klaus Bischoff. New VW design will show its characteristic, such as, a basic box with rounded lines, a bulldog nose with oversize VW logo, a gently curved windshield, a space-efficient wheels-at-the-corners stance, and 4 conventionally hinged side doors instead of rear sliders or the original T1 s dual French rear doors. Volkswagen Microbus 2014 would be available with turbocharged, four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines; a hybrid is a strong possibility. VW said that the 2014 Volkswagen Microbus will be 3,200 pound curb weight would be running from 0 to 62 mph in 11.5 seconds with the power of 199 pound feet of torque. Further, 170 h 2.5 liter in five-cylinder, 2000 hp 2.0 liter turbo-four and 140 hp 2.0 liter TDI turbodiesel-four will equipped by Front wheel Drive. The six-speed manual and six-speed automatic function are both available.

Previous VW Microbus Concept Cart teases came in 2001:

2001 VW Concept Car

2001 VW Concept Car

This concept was widely critiqued for having square headlights and looking too much like a minivan. I would have bought one, though. I have several toy cars of this 2001 concept. This version was scheduled for 2004, but never came to fruition.

In 2007, Volkswagen came out with the spaceup! blue concept car that was supposed to resemble the classic bus. I wrote about it enthusiastically at the time, even though it’s kinda hideous.

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

This one never came out here – dunno if it was released in Europe. I was enamored of the solar panel roof, though.

2008 brought the VW Routan, which is nothing like a Microbus, and I had some strong words for it:

VW Routan

Fucking Routan. I was especially pissed about the Routan because to advertise the damned thing, they mocked up a working version of something closer to the classic – the 1964 Microbus Chameleon concept in which they updated an original 1964 bus with new interiors and fancy gadgetry:

Volkswagen Deluxe Microbus Chameleon

Volkswagen Deluxe Microbus Chameleon interior

Rude to tease us with something so cool in a commercial for a vehicle that was basically a Dodge minivan with a VW badge

In 2009, Canadian designer Alexandre Verdier came out with a Microbus design that was the closest thing to perfect that I’ve ever seen. It was not an official VW concept carl, but there were some cool features. But it did make me drool.

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

In 2011, Volkswagen introduced this Bulli concept that was supposed to go into production in 2014:

Volkswagen Concept Bulli Front

Volkswagen Concept Bulli Interior

Volkswagen Concept Bulli rear

Volkswagen Concept Bulli Top

This was the version that died in August. It doesn’t grab me, but I would have test-driven it. I still like the idea of a hybrid bus with solar panels. But something closer to the design of the original, ideally. Dunno if it will ever happen now.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. lisa linn allen

    I’ve decided to move on from the microbus after the official cancel of the 2014. VW doesn’t have a family car that interests me right now so I will probably test volvo wagons and maybe some other euro wagons. The Jetta Sportwagen is a joke, and so is the Routan as you noted above (a Chevy? really?). I have no real interest in an SUV, I think – if I did, I’d drive a hybrid Highlander first. For the kind of coin I’d have to drop on a Touraeg, if I could afford one, I’d always be wondering where the third row was. I’m kind of disgusted with VW right now, frankly.

  2. Philippe Barre

    well said!

  3. AC VWnut

    Volkswagen (VW) should take a hard look at why they were successful in the first place. No doubt, they make a great car today, but they are competing with the Asian market which severely limits their potential as a power producer. If VW ever wants to produce the numbers of vehicles as they have in the early seventies – then lose the now, post-dated minivan look, and simply produce a bare bones, rear-engine van and passenger car. Granted, US safety standards limit how low the price can be, even for inflation adjusted dollars, but is it necessary to build a luxury class van? Is there any coincidence that VW van sales fell off a cliff in 1980 when the new, more luxurious Vanagon replaced the bay window Type 2? Sales dropped from 200k units in 1979, to under 50k in 1980 never recovering until their death in 1991. Since VW hasn’t published Vanagon production numbers, estimates range from 20k-40k produced in 1980. I am being generous with 50k.

    Go rear-engine. Strip the luxuries. You might be surprised of how many buyers are looking for simplicity and function.

    1. Barbara

      My husband and i had a VW bus in the late 70’s. Unfortuneately we sold it when we went off to residencies. Now almost 30 years later we would like to buy a van, not to haul kids(don’t have any) but rather our toys and animals. I cannot bring myself to buy one of the soccer mom vans so started searching sites and was so excited when I saw what I at first look I thought to be a only slightly updated version of the minibus. But alas, it was not to be. I agree with the writer above strip the luxuries some of want a functional vehicle to haul bikes, kayaks, skies and our furry companions without worry as to how much dirt will be brought inside vehicle.

      Wake up VW there is a demographic here in the US of very active baby boomers, not willing to drive the vans that all look alike. We want cool and functional and that is what the VW minibus was.

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