Is Volkswagen getting closer to launching a new Microbus van inspired by the 1950s original? This electric-powered concept, called Volkswagen eT, could hint at a Microbus-inspired shape for the next-generation of VW’s Transporter commercial van.
The significant styling change is a shorter nose that gets closer to the original Type 2 van, now a classic design. VW has had several previous attempts at engineering a new Type 2 — a concept in 2001 and the Volkswagen Bulli in 2011.
The Bulli is rumoured for production as a Polo-based five-seat minivan. Currently the Transporter is in its fifth-generation, T5 version. A new T6 van is pencilled in to the product plan for 2014/15.
The innovative Volkswagen eT shown here, features new design ideas to ‘simplify’ the working day, including a ‘follow me’ function.
Designed by the same team who created Frankfurt’s NILS concept, the VW eT is powered by electric wheel hub motors. The Volkswagen eT’s innovative ‘follow me’ function allows the van to follow the delivery person from house to house. Alternatively, the ‘come to me’ function recalls the van on command. As a third option, the driver can also direct the car from the passenger seat via a ‘drive stick.’
The eT also features a wide, electrically opening sliding door that opens to two different stages. VW says the door offers quick access inside and makes ‘unnecessary walking movements around the vehicle a thing of the past.’
VW’s commercial vehicles spokesman Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber added that the eT showcases “what is the maximum feasible technology for electric vehicles in the commercial market today with a special design that systematically addresses future customer needs.”
No further details have been revealed, but VW has hinted at a production version for the latter half of the decade.