(from Volkswagen Press Release,
February 2001) Volkswagen is showing the concept car
"Microbus" as a European premiere at the 71st International Geneva Motor
Show. The bus of the future was designed in the Volkswagen design studio
in California especially for the US market. With its original design and
numerous innovative ideas, the Microbus harks back to a great tradition,
starting in 1950 with the first VW bus. This Volkswagen was successful
worldwide and reached cult status, especially in the USA, with the name
Microbus. The design study is a new definition of this cult status:
A contemporary expression of personality and freedom.
Against the backdrop of both the legendary first VW Bus generation -
whose design is still, especially in the USA, known and loved today -
and the form of the Beetle and the New Beetle, the design study is not a
simple copy of the original bus. Our aim was to create another
Volkswagen original, which was to pay homage to a great history in its
own independent visionary way. The innovative Californian design team
has succeeded in doing just this. This independence is demonstrated on
the Microbus by the striking front end with particularly thin-line Xenon
headlights, the design of the side windows and the large sliding doors.
They open and close electronically at the push of a button. A dynamic
appearance is guaranteed by the wide wheel arches and the specially
developed 20" alloy wheels.
The Microbus offers 3 rows of seats. The middle centre seats can be
turned through 180 degrees and the third row has been designed as a seat
bench. All passengers have the protection of an integral seat belt.
Intelligent features such as these are characteristic of many features
in the interior. The Microbus can be transformed into a veritable car
cinema: The appropriate visual images are provided by a 7" screen in the
centre console, four monitors in the backrests of the first and second
rows as well as two extendable displays between the second and third
A second 7 inch screen, located towards the front of the roof area,
provides a view of what is behind the Microbus. The picture is provided
by a so-called backeye camera. Along with both the exterior mirrors,
this provides a comprehensive view of what is behind the vehicle.