Original Volkswagen Microbus and the 2016 TransporterEnlarge Photo
When Volkswagen released its New Beetle nearly two decades ago, optimistic American enthusiasts speculated a modern Microbus based on the automaker's Transporter series of vans sold overseas couldn't be far behind.
And it looks like the long wait might be coming to an end.
Autocar has reported that a Microbus camper concept will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show early next year in Las Vegas, and that it will be a stylistic heir to the much-loved classic vans of the 1960s and '70s. In addition to taking styling cues from the Bulli concept revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the vehicle reportedly destined for the 2016 CES is also said to be coming with an all-electric powertrain, and that it's production is all but certain, perhaps starting as early as 2017.
Range for the electric van could stretch to as much as 310 miles, though it's likely consumers would also be able to chose from conventional diesel or gas units.
While the current Transporter—which just saw the launch of a new T6 model—isn't on sale in the United States, any new Microbus will definitely be available domestically—if it happens. To help save on costs, production would likely be handled at VW's Puebla plant in Mexico.
Volkswagen is aiming to spur Stateside sales, and given the success it saw with the New Beetle, it's clear a Microbus would be a smash hit.