VW BUDD-e Concept Begs For Microbus’ Glory With All Its Bells And Whistles

The VW BUDD-e is essentially the first electric concept of the company based on the upcoming MEB platform, specifically designed for electric vehicles.

The new concept could spawn a modern equivalent of the Microbus with a full-electric powertrain as VW is keen to show the world their newfound focus on electric cars. The concept is powered by two electric motors mounted on the front and on the rear, making the BUDD-e an AWD van with a total power of 301hp (225kW).

The 92.4kWh battery pack is flat module, integrated into the vehicle’s entire floor saving this way more space and keeping the weight center as low and balanced as possible. Fully charged, the BUDD-e offers an EPA-estimated driving range of up to 233 miles (or 533km-NEDC). VW says that when a 150kW charger is used, the battery reaches 80 per cent of charge in about 30 minutes.

Performance is quite brisk as you would expect: zero to 60mph (0-100km/h) comes in 6.9 seconds, with the top speed rated at 112mph (180km/h).

Configured as a four-seater, the BUDD-e concept demonstrates the future trends in the human-machine interface. Everything is operated via gesture control, touch or voice control. Think of it as VW’s own SIRI and you will get the idea.

Even the multifunction steering wheel features no buttons at all as individual functions are activated by pressure or with a swipe gesture. Not to mention the full Internet connectivity of the vehicle this allows it to communicate with your home and of course your smartphone. The Internet of Things will probably end up in production much sooner than we expect, as VW has already teamed-up with LG in order to develop the technology even further.

It all sounds very promising in theory and all the features sound really too-good-to-be-true but there is one thing. When we initially heard that VW was preparing a Microbus successor, we expected something much friendlier, certainly with more visual character than the BUDD-e concept.

Is it just us?