Every so often a rumour springs up about the iconic VW Campervan being reinvigorated for a new generation to enjoy. It should come as no surprise really, as the classic Camper is enjoying a bit of a boom, if my local air-cooled specialist is to be believed.
He tells me that the trade in sales of imported and refurbished classic Campervans is on the increase, which, after some thought, we put down to the dip in the economy resulting in so many British holiday makers choosing the great beaches of the UK as a cheaper alternative to going abroad.
So the news that VW just may be on the verge of setting the wheels in motion on an electric Camper is intriguing. Volkswagen is apparently looking at the concept, so nothing to save up for just yet.
So what would an electric Campervan look like? We’ve already seen the revamped Beetle, which was introduced in 1997 – it really doesn’t seem that long ago – which garnered a mixed reaction among enthusiasts. One hardcore air-cooled driver telling me that he didn’t react too friendly when a new Beetle owner flashed their headlights at him in: “they’re different cars” he said.
VW gave us a hint at what such a beast might look like in 2011, when they unveiled a microbus at the Geneva Motor Show called the Bulli. With its uncharacteristic bulging front, it looked more like a cross between a Mini concept van and some generic American family people carrier.
VW were quoted by Autocar at the time as saying they were ‘really serious’ about the idea of what was then being called a ‘Heritage Range’ – but we haven’t heard much since.
It’s likely that any electric Campervan would keep the concept of the Bulli, making it a comfortably sized 5-seater. The good news for purists is that with an electric front-wheel drive engine, the bulge at the front of the Bulli might disappear, which alone would give it a more Campervan look and feel to drive. The original Camper places the driver right over the front wheels with very little obstructing the view from the expansive windscreen. Let’s hope VW still have their initial enthusiasm for a Campervan rebirth in tact.
Images: autocar.co.uk, autobild.de, carboncube.org, automobilemag.com
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