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Volkswagen Bulli officially off the table
Volkswagen officials confirm 2011 Geneva small van concept is shelved
6 Jul 2015
By TIM ROBSON in STOCKHOLM
VOLKSWAGEN’S much-loved Bulli Concept from the 2011 Geneva motor show will never see the light of day, according to the company.
The small six-seat van, which was to be built as a spin-off from the company’s slow-selling Up light car, wowed crowds and media alike at the show, with the company promising a rebirth of the Kombi in a compact package.
Now, though, with the arrival of the limited-edition Generation Six version of the latest Multivan, the Bulli Concept has been officially put to bed.
Volkswagen Commercial design manager Pavol Sajtak told Australian media at the launch of the T6, that the two-tone Multivan special is set to take the place of the Bulli.
“Any car that that is to be produced by Volkswagen has to pass the internal discussion,” said Mr Satjak. “This (Generation Six) is, for us, the actual Bulli.”
Mr Satjak said that the smaller dimensions of the Bulli Concept ruled it out and the Multivan was the most applicable candidate for such a vehicle.
“(We wanted to) keep the size of the fifth generation (Multivan) which has sold really well,” he said. “I wanted to make this by the start of the year, but I couldn’t. The manager of the project said ‘sorry, you should wait for the sixth generation.”
The senior designer explained that heritage, not retro looks, was the key design for the Generation Six, which features LED headlights and tail-lights, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Alcantara seats, leather-bound multifunction steering wheel and gear lever, heated seats and a multi-zone climate system.
“We look at (the Gen Six) more as celebrating the heritage of the Bulli,” he said. “The important thing is that we don’t want to play retro. It’s more about the heritage. It’s better keep the values that the customer appreciates, by keeping the flexibility of the exterior and interior and offering this heritage look as a connection to the past.”
The all-electric Bulli Concept was itself inspired by a larger show van known as the Microbus, which debuted at Geneva in 2001.
In fact, the Bulli was just one of several Up variants – including GT, e-Up and cross Up – that never made it to Australian showrooms.
The Up debuted in Australia in 2012, but was discontinued late in 2014 after sales of less than 2000 units were recorded.
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