Volkswagen unveils a futuristic microbus concept at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Known as the Budd-E, it is an all-electric van that features a glimpse into the future.
German car manufacturer Volkswagen is really serious about bringing in a new generation of its legendary microbus lineup. With the new concept vehicle world debut at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Nevada, the carmaker unveils the Budd-E plug-in all-electric van.
The Volkswagen Budd-E microbus concept offers 373 miles of electric range. It features a new gesture-control interface and a next-generation vehicle architecture. VW is also considering building a production version of the Budd-E by the end of the decade.
The Budd-E concept looks back to the Microbus heritage of Volkswagen. However, there is really no retro design in the concept van. Moreover, it offers a glimpse into the future, outside and inside.
Underneath the microbus concept, it uses a new platform known as the Modular Electronic Kit that is specially designed for plug-in vehicles. Electricity comes from an all-new 101 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Motors from the front and rear give the van an all-wheel drive with top speeds of up to 93 miles per hour.
It is claimed by VW that the large battery used by the Budd-E can be charged up to 80 percent in only 15 minutes. However, this is presumed through a new fast-charging system that the VW Group is considering.
The concept van is a multitool of all sorts. It is also designed to function as an auxiliary power unit like electric generators for houses or small offices. It can also communicate with a smart office or home setup. It could also turn into a mobile mailbox for package deliveries with the use of a digital key.
The Budd-E uses digital screens rather than analogue mirrors and gauges. It also trades off traditional buttons and switches for large touchscreen displays. Gesture controls also work for the vehicle's passengers, not just for the infotainment. Drivers have an array of control options like touchscreen, gesture or controls for the steering wheel.
Many details in the Budd-E concept are not likely bound for production as of the moment like its out-of-this-world lounge-style seating. However, the company does say that this concept gives the people a hint of the entire Volkswagen brand's future design direction.