This past week, Volkswagen revealed a hot new all-electric concept based on one of the single most iconic vehicles of all time: the VW Type 2, commonly known as the Transporter, Kombi or — especially in America — the Microbus. The VW Type 20 is based on a 1962 Type 2 11-window and is powered by a 1- kWh battery and electric motor that makes 120 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. The Type 20 also features a number of new technologies like biometric identification and a built-in digital assistant.
The overall design is decidedly retro. If you didn’t know any better, a first glance suggests it’s just an original Type 2 with a fancy new paint job. Take a look at the details, especially the strange organic shapes on the mirror stalks, wheels, steering wheel and seats. The parts were designed to shave weight without reducing strength, leading to the design. It’s similar to some 3D-printed parts. The infotainment is neat, too, showing 3D elements that don’t require any special glasses. The pneumatic suspension was designed by Porsche and allows for adjustable ride height.
The concept was revealed at the newly renamed Innovation and Engineering Center California, the largest Volkswagen vehicle research facility outside of Germany. IECC will focus on future vehicles with a focus on the North American market. Part of that includes autonomous and connected mobility.