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VW teases new electric Camper van ahead of Detroit debut

Volkswagen will unveil a new I.D. family model at the Detroit Auto Show – and teaser images suggest it will be a new take on the classic VW Camper.

Described as ‘a multi-functional vehicle for a new era’, the concept is said to forge links between the legendary origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. 

The rising feature-line which starts from the front of the vehicle beneath the large VW badge and rises to wrap around the sides to separate the two-tone pant finish is an unmistakable design cue from the classic Camper (Microbus). Add to this VW’s use of the term ‘Design icon’ and the scene is set for a nostalgic trip down memory lane to the 1960s – when the Camper was at the peak of its popularity.

The show car has two electric motors, all-wheel drive and a long electric driving range combined with a multi-functional, flexible interior to usher in, says VW, ’a new feeling of freedom – with zero emissions – and a new era of mobility’.

As with the previous I.D. model, which debuted at the Paris Motor Show in September, the new concept is based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), further showcasing the potential and bandwidth of the MEB.

Volkswagen says the I.D. initials stand for three key elements:

  • a new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles
  • purity in design language, form, and character
  • attention to detail and ideal use of interior space

The concept vehicle will also be able to drive fully autonomously in the future. Simply pressing lightly on the Volkswagen logo causes the electrically retractable steering wheel to disappear into the dashboard so the driver can relax while laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors and cameras monitor other road users and the surroundings.

The I.D. concept vehicle will make its World Premiere at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which is taking place in Detroit from 8 to 22 January, 2017.