volkswagen microbus is confirmed for production
Jun 13, 2002
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has announced that the Microbus, which captured the imagination of the media and public worldwide when it was shown in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2001, is to go into production.
The new vehicle will be built at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles factory in Hanover, Germany, leading to the creation of 1500 new jobs. Speaking at the factory, Dr Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of Management Volkswagen AG said: ’With the Microbus, a legend begun here some 50 years ago when the first Volkswagen bus left the production line is now returning to Hanover.‘
Volkswagen is targeting a new market niche with the Microbus – it is an MPV that combines practicality and flexibility with striking design, high desirability and a premium image. The concept was penned at the Volkswagen design studio in Simi Valley in California, with special consideration for the US market, and was shown at the Tokyo, Geneva and Frankfurt Motor Shows last year, as well as the Detroit Auto Show.
The Microbus is a full-size MPV, equivalent in size to the current Caravelle and Multivan. Though reminiscent of the original rear-engined T1 Microbus, it is significantly different in both style and concept. Its wide and shallow headlamps and rear lights contrast to the original’s famous round headlights, while the front-mounted liquid-cooled engine is a world away from the T1’s air-cooled powerplant. Inside the concept vehicle are six seats arranged in three rows, with those in the middle capable of turning through 180 degrees. The distinctive fascia is both stylish and ergonomic with, for example, a dash-mounted gearlever that leaves the floor free of clutter.
Continued Dr. Pischetsrieder: ’The Volkswagen T1 was never just a means of transport, it has always been an emotive cult object. The public’s reaction at motor shows combined with the findings of market studies already show us that the Microbus design has a spontaneous appeal, and that the vehicle will follow in the footsteps of its successful predecessor.‘