Click above for a hi-res gallery of the '01 VW Microbus concept

The 2001 VW Microbus concept was really cool; so much so that it looked like it was headed for 2005 production. Then the project started getting expensive at the same time the U.S. dollar began to hit the skids. So, then-boss Bernd Pischetsrieder swung the axe, and it was curtains for the retro breadbox. Fast-forward to the present. Instead of a spiffy new Microbus, we now have the Routan, which is fake German for "Dodge Caravan." Not very exciting, to say the least.

A revival of Flower Power's official vehicle seemed hopeless -- until now. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that VW's entertaining the possibility of a 21st-century Microbus built on the same platform as the new sedan that'll pe produced at VW's Chattanooga, TN facility. An unnamed "senior Volkswagen official" told the paper that European production's basically a non-starter, and Volkswagen Group of America's Jill Bratina played it coy, saying only that a second vehicle line out of Chattanooga is "conceivable in the foreseeable future." A locally-built, car-based Microbus is an idea that certainly piques our interest. How about yours?

(Oh, and by the way, should you ever decide to move to Brazil, you can still kick it old-school down there in the meantime.)

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