February 28, 2011

Comeback of an Automotive Free Spirit: World Debut of New Bulli by Volkswagen in Geneva

Press Release

Naturally, the concept can also incorporate Volkswagen's extremely efficient petrol and diesel direct injection engines as alternative drives. Engines with 1.0 or 1.4 liter displacement that are fuel efficient yet strong; this is downsizing by the book. Ideal for anyone who wants to cover maximum distances with minimal fuel consumption.

Bulli — the idea goes back 64 years

Without the Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon, the T1 might not have existed, and of course neither would the Bulli concept vehicle at Geneva. That is because Pon was the person who on 23 April, 1947, sketched a picture of a compact bus in his notebook. Actually, the Dutchman's drawing was a simple side view of a radically shortened public omnibus placed over the wheelbase of a Beetle with an “m” for “motor” written on it. That was it. The world's first van was born. Great ideas usually just take a few strokes of the pen, but then they require a dedicated effort to implement them. Volkswagen designers took this sketch and created the bus that became an automotive icon with the characteristic “V” in front.

The Bulli concept vehicle now follows in the footsteps of the original bus and demonstrates the concept of maximum space utilization with the characteristic “V” with VW logo at the front end and the cleanest of proportions. In the process, the concept vehicle's design follows the maxims of the new Volkswagen “design DNA.” Retro? Hardly. It is a Volkswagen! The team led by Walter de Silva, Head of Volkswagen Group Design, and Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen brand, developed the “design DNA” for the modern era based on styling principles of the bestselling Beetle, Golf I and T1.

Design — visual world of a masterpiece

The new edition of the Bulli is 3.99 meters long, 1.75 meters wide and 1.70 meters tall. The T1 was somewhat longer and taller, but narrower. With a wheelbase of 2.62 meters, the Bulli utilizes the overall length very well. Also striking here are the Bulli's relatively large track widths (1.50 m front and rear) in relation to body width.

Front end: Like the Samba bus before it, the Bulli being presented in Geneva also has two-tone paint — in this case white and red. The “V” on the bonnet, is kept white. The bonnet does house the engine: instead of rear-wheel drive with a boxer engine, as on the Samba, the Bulli has an electric motor located forward of the front axle and front-wheel drive. Here it is a compact integral drive whose primary components are an E-motor, high-voltage pulse inverter and DC/DC converter for the 12-Volt electrical system.

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