The attention garnered by VW’s BUDD-e Concept at this year’s CES suggests there’s still plenty of love for a more characterful version of Wolfsburg’s Microbus than their plain vanilla T6 - perhaps even for something as retro as the T1 Revival.
The study was penned by David Obendorfer, an industrial design graduate from the MOME Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design of Budapest, who has been designing yachts for Officina Italiana Design for 7 years now, but still finds time to indulge in his passion for retrolicious automotive exercises.
We’ve shared a few of them on this site, including the Renault 4 Ever, BMW CS Vintage, Fiat 600, and his most famous one, the Fiat 127 that drew the attention of Lapo Elkann, the grandson of Fiat scion Gianni Agnelli.
With the VW T1 Revival, Obendorfer pays tribute to the brand’s original Bus that became synonymous with the hippie culture of the 1960s. It’s way more retro and round than either of VW’s recent official Microbus studies - the previous one being the 2011 Bulli Microbus. What’s more interesting is the hypothetical plausibility of the idea, as Obendorfer says it was designed around the new T6 with a longer wheelbase.
“The T1 Revival Concept pays homage to this first series of Volkswagen commercial vehicles, designed on the current VW Transporter T6 platform, with a wheelbase that has been extended by 7cm,” he says. “While there are clear references to the original model, the new concept doesn’t aim at mimicking the T1 forms of over 65 years ago. Rather it tries to capture his unique personality, "translating" it into a contemporary language; with curved surfaces, rounded corners, circular headlights, chrome details and bicolor car paint.”
The designer followed a comparable thought process with the interior that blends the old T1’s unpretentious styling and layout with contemporary details and solutions.
“The interior sees a fusion of modern technology and evocative elements, with the dashboard echoing the color of the vehicle's exterior, forging a stylistic connection even with the current generation of the VW Beetle,” says Obendorfer. “The ventilation vents in the center of the dashboard are a nod to the past, with the original T1 having very similar grids. Chrome door handles and the design of the seats give a retro touch to the passenger cabin.”
Kudos to Evan M for the tip!