There’s no simpler strategy to make automobile lovers swoon than a classic Volkswagen Sort 1 microbus or Kombi. On this case, you’re wanting on the VW e-Bulli idea by eClassics. It’s a 1966 T1 Samba Bus produced in Hannover, Germany. Because it seems, this Sort 1 microbus spent the higher a part of the final half-century roaming the streets of California. And now, VW and eClassics has given this classic Kombi an all-new electrical powertrain.
The method begins by changing the traditional four-cylinder boxer engine with a brand new electrical motor. Whereas the previous gasoline motor solely pumped out 44-horsepower, the brand new electrical energy unit within the e-Bulli is pumping out 88-horsepower – nearly twice the output of the previous four-banger.
With extra horses driving the rear wheels, it has a high velocity of 80 mph (130 kph). The unique Sort 1 Kombi topped out at 65 mph (105 kph). It’s not a velocity demon to be fairly sincere, nevertheless it received’t be shamed by subcompacts on the freeway, that’s for certain.
The electrical motor is fed by a 45 kWh battery pack for an estimated vary of 125 miles. And for the reason that battery is suitable with each alternating and direct present charging, you’ll be able to replenish the batteries from empty to 80-percent in 40 minutes utilizing a 50 kWh DC quick charger. Once more, the VW e-Bulli is not meant for long-distance driving, nevertheless it has greater than sufficient vary for grocery buying and faculty runs.
But it surely doesn’t cease there. VW and eClassics went the additional mile to modernize this Sort 1 microbus. The car advantages from a redesigned chassis with an all-new multilink entrance and rear suspension. You’ll additionally discover coilover struts and adjustable dampers together with a brand new rack-and-pinion steering system. eClassics additionally threw in new anchors by becoming all 4 corners with new disk brakes.
With a retuned chassis, a brand new suspension system, and a decrease heart of gravity (with a heavy battery pack mounted within the flooring), we’re anticipating VW e-Bulli to be a sharper-handling minivan than the unique mannequin. And despite the fact that the car is primarily based on a classic physique fashion, VW and eClassics had been sort sufficient to suit LED headlights and operating lights, LED cost indicators, and a contemporary gear selector within the e-Bulli.
The car additionally has a traditional speedometer, a classic stereo system, and real solid-wood flooring. Eager-eyed readers may also discover a pill neatly mounted within the ceiling above the windshield. It’s a superb mixture of the previous and the brand new, and we find it irresistible to bits.
Granted e-Bulli is not as tech-filled as VW’s Type 20 concept unveiled final summer season, however at the least it’s nearer to actuality. Volkswagen and e-Classics are planning to supply each T1 conversions and full e-Bulli items beginning at $70,000. The e-Bulli idea was imagined to debut at Techno Classica 2020, however the occasion was additionally canceled to curb the coronavirus pandemic. So, is retrofitting the way forward for electrical autos?