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.

Continue ReadingVolkswagen Microbus 2014 and Concepts of the Past

The New New Beetle

Spy photos of the 2012 New Beetle, according to Edmunds Inside Line Straightline blog.

2012 "New" New Beetle
2012 “New” New Beetle
The Original Beetle
The Original Beetle

(more or less, the bodies changed bit over time.)

Phoebe the Great
Phoebe the Great

1998 Beetle (this is Phoebe, of course.)

Interesting – the 2012 looks a bit more like the old beetles than the current line. I’m not sure I like it, once I compare it to Phoebe.

Continue ReadingThe New New Beetle

spaceup! blue Volkswagen Bus

Volkswagen of America unveils a new concept cart – a “green” fuel-cell microbus-like vehicle called “spaceup! blue.”

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

First – they had me at “hybrid microbus.” Seriously, that’s all it takes. Please make one. Please. I will give you my first-born. If you love me, go to the VW website contact page and tell them to make one for me.

Second – it does need round headlights, but I can live without them, as long as I have one. And I hope they have cooler colors. Not that I wouldn’t paint it with swirly hippie flowers anyway. But a nice yellow base would be a better canvas, and the white interior is a no-go.

From USA Today:

Volkswagen space up! blue: Imagine it without the emblems, and you think you’re looking at the old Scion xB “box.”

But you’re not. Volkswagen introduced a fuel-cell concept vehicle called the spaceup! blue — yes, that’s lower case with an exclamation mark in the middle.

It’s meant to be reminscent of a VW microbus, with lots of space inside.

The four-seat space up — who named this thing? — has what is billed as the world’s first high-temperature fuel cell coupled with 12 lithium-ion batteries. Having the cell work at higher temperatures allows it to be more efficient and compact, VW says. Besides the fuel cell, its batteries can be charged from a wall socket.

But wait! There’s more!

One of the best solar installation companies, EcoGen America announced that the space up also has a solar panel on the roof that can supply a bit more energy to the battery.
Space up can be driven up to 65 miles on the electric motor alone. The fuel cell is good for another 155 miles for a combined range between the two power sources of 220, VW says.

The “green” theme carries through to the interior, which makes extensive use of recycled materials.

Continue Readingspaceup! blue Volkswagen Bus

Mini-Derby Cars

Mini Derby Race Car
My dad made me three of these kick-ass cool cars when I was in elementary school, as part of the YMCA Indian Princesses Mini Derby race. They’re carved out of a block of wood and then painted. The idea was to race them down a track, and prizes would be awarded for the winners, and for best design. Of course we always won the second, and usually the first prize, too, because my dad would insert lead weights into the wood block at the center of the car. Other kids had generic blocks of wood on wheels, while I had these awesome real-looking cars. I need to take photos of the other two; one of them is a cool hot wheels crazy car, and the other is an early Indy race car.
Boing Boing recently had a post about some folks who put a webcam on their mini derby car. I’m sure if we had such a thing back when I was a kid, my Dad would have done it. And I still think my cars are cooler, btw.

Continue ReadingMini-Derby Cars

What Your Car Says About You

Acura Integra — I have always wanted to own the Buick of sports cars

Acura Legend — I’m too bland for German cars

Acura NSX — I am impotent

Audi 90 — I enjoy putting out engine fires

Buick Park Avenue — I am older than 34 of the 50 states

Cadillac Eldorado — I am a very good Mary Kay salesman

Cadillac Seville — I am a pimp

Chevrolet Camaro — I enjoy beating up people

Chevrolet Chevette — I like seeing people’s reactions when I tell them I have a ‘Vette

Chevrolet Corvette — I’m in a mid-life crisis

Chevrolet El Camino — I am leading a militia to overthrow the government

Chrysler Cordoba — I dig the rich Corinthian leather

Datsun 280Z — I have a kilo of cocaine in my wheel well

Dodge Dart — I teach third grade special education and I voted for Eisenhower

Dodge Daytona — I delivered pizza for four years to get this car from jeep dealership near me conroe texas

Ford Fairmont — (See Dodge Dart)

Ford Mustang — I slow down to 85 in school zones

Ford Crown Victoria — I enjoy having people slow to 55mph and change lanes when I pull up behind them

Geo Storm — I will start the 11th grade in the Fall.

Geo Tracker — I will start the 12th grade in the Fall.

Honda del Sol — I have always said, half a convertible is better than no convertible at all

Honda Civic — I have just graduated and have no credit

Honda Accord — I lack any originality and am basically a lemming.

Infiniti Q45 — I am a physician with 17 malpractice suits pending.

Isuzu Impulse — I do not give a rip about J.D. Power or his reports.

Jaguar XJ6 — I am so rich I will pay 60K for a car that is in the shop 280 days per year.

Kia Sephia — I learned nothing from the failure of Daihatsu Corp.

Lincoln Town Car — I live for bingo and covered dish suppers

Mercury Grand Marquis — (See above)

Mercedes 500SL — I will beat you up if you ask me for an autograph

Mercedes 560SEL — I have a daughter named Bitsy and a son named Cole

Mazda Miata — I do not fear being decapitated by an eighteen-wheeler

MGB — I am dating a mechanic

Mitsubishi Diamante — I don’t know what it means either

Nissan 300ZX — I have yet to complete my divorce proceedings.

Oldsmobile Cutlass — I just stole this car and I’m going to make a fortune off the parts

Peugeot 505 Diesel — I am on the EPA’s Ten Most Wanted List

Plymouth Neon — I sincerely enjoy doing the Macarena

Pontiac Trans AM — I have a switchblade in my sock

Porsche 944 — I am dating big haired women that otherwise would be inaccessible to me

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow — I think Pat Buchannon is a tad bit too liberal

Saturn SC2 — (See Honda Civic)

Subaru Legacy — I have always wanted a Japanese car even more inferior than Isuzu

Toyota Camry — I am still in the closet

Volkswagon Beetle — I still watch Partridge Family reruns

Volkswagon Cabriolet — I am out of the closet

Volkswagon Microbus — I am tripping right now

Volvo 740 Wagon — I am frightened of my wife

Continue ReadingWhat Your Car Says About You