• Sep 6, 2008
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.)


[Source: Sydney Morning Herald via Squob.com]


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  • 59 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is pretty awesome.
      They just need to add the teak lounge deck on top:
      http://www.autoblog.com/2008/08/27/lounge-on-deck-of-vw-caddy-topos-sail-concept/
      • 6 Years Ago
      OMFG yes they must build it, if they will build it i will buy it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      a few years back i used to sell VWs. i always wanted that microbus to become a reality. it would be a SICK vehicle now, especially with a TDI or if VW developed a Hybrid, now that would be something. and you know 7 years on, that design really isn't long in the tooth, it actually still looks pretty current.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. It would probably sell like hot bread (pun intended - over here it was nicknamed "loaf bread" ("pão-de-forma") ;)).
        I would change two things, though:
        That gear stick (?) "appliance" should probably go; it takes useful space for what should remain an utilitarian vehicle(*).
        For the same reason, the driving wheel should have a truck like fold up system.

        (*: could be foldable, as well).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hell yeah. A VW Bus was my first car. I'd ditch my Caravan in a heartbeat for one of these.
      • 6 Years Ago
      how is the routan doing, anyway? I saw one a couple months ago and i have yet to see another. Well.. i guess i just answered my own question
        • 6 Years Ago
        From my understanding, they are just now reaching dealerships.

        FWIW, I'm just now seeing the Routan being featured ont eh vw.comsite. Usually they tend to coincide the advertising with the release of the vehicle. If you go to the site now, that's the first vehicle you will see.

        If I had to buy a minivan and I was choosign between the Dodge/Chrysler and the Routan, I'd take the Routan purely on looks alone. It's not a bad looking van and is immediately one of the best-looking ones on the market. Granted, that's not a huge compliment, but it's worth something.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW strung my wife and I along for four years and then spit out a dodge minivan. Talk about bait and switch. So yeah VW, I'll buy one, maybe, but I don't want to hear anything more about it until it's available at my dealer. And it better have a deisel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's been known for about 3 of those 4 years that this minivan would be based on a Chrysler platform.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Being the proud owner of aircooled vw's, I'd welcome owning a Microbus TDI (gotta have TDI man). TDI is so common over here in Germany that I don't get why it isn't more common stateside. Just bought the Jetta Sportwagon TDI for the hubby. Pepe (salsa red) has lots of pep and plenty of silence. I hate Dodge Caravans. Not into Mommymobiles at all, but a Microbus now that is something this Mommy could sit behind and drive :). Peace, Love and Happiness Darlin'
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wowwwwww..... i like this one... make it real, please!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why do I find this better looking than any minivan on the market?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Serious? how many concepts? in an article about VAG?
        Hrm. TT? LeMans aka the R8? Nuvellari aka the A5? Iroc aka scirocco? I could go on an on.

        Sure, it's fun to be smug, and the majority of the car industry has a crap chance of putting concepts into production, but no volume automaker puts as many concepts into production as Audi/VW. Last I read it was something stupid like 70%.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm just saying.... It's so nerdy and unusual.... That I actually like it... I guess that makes me nerdy and unusual, too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1 if the prius can sell, this definitely can. it'd be on my short list.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dunno what to think about that... They already tried bringing the microbus on several different platforms... but never really managed to make it look as cool as this concept. Dont be fooled by the proportions of the microbus those wheels are huge wheels (for production).
      To make it a success I think it should be quite cheap to buy and to run...
      This sedan platform may force it to be a bit expensive and also denature the design with a long front overhang.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's definitely what the people want after the five-year contract with Chrysler is over. The Routan rocks but the Microbus TDI will start a revival.
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