57-year-old Type 2 Microbus gets turned into a high-end BEV
Volkswagen AG has taken the wraps off an all-electric minivan conversion of a 1962 Type 2 Microbus. In addition to the new powertrain, the vintage ride packs a biometrical scanner-based access system and a few other state-of-the-art features.
The German automobile company opened its own research center called the Electronics Research Laboratory in 1998. Today, 20 years later, the institution has been given a new name: Innovation and Engineering Center California. To celebrate the anniversary and the rebranding, VW built the all-electric retro van you can see here.
The new subdivision of Volkswagen Group will also carry out R&D projects of the Engineering Center California. The researchers will try to improve upon existing self-driving and self-parking system designs. They will also take part in fleshing out a new EV cabin concept called the Smart Cockpit.
As for the battery-powered Type 2 Microbus – which was dubbed 'Type 20' – it packs a single electric engine rated at 122 hp (91 kW) and 235 Nm (173 lb×ft) of torque. Paired with a 10 kWh battery array, it likely doesn’t run very far at all. Despite this, it features a unique, purpose-built air suspension jointly developed with Porsche, a voice assistant and a holographic multimedia center called the Looking Glass II.
Reporter Sergei Musa