Say It Ain't So: Volkswagen Says No to Bulli Van

It looks like the only van Volkswagen will be selling is the Routan minivan. Enthusiasts were psyched about the retro-styled Bulli concept that debuted at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show, and they were even more excited when the automaker hinted at production plans for Europe and the U.S. It turns out that VW changed its mind.

Volkswagen confirmed to that it's shelved plans to build and sell the funky van. "Feedback from various markets showed that the concept footprint was too small. Thus, the design and engineering teams are working on a redesign that could potentially fit specific market needs such as a larger platform/footprint," spokesman Corey Proffitt said.

The six-passenger compact van debuted with an electric powertrain and some neat features like iPad-based multimedia controls and a huge panoramic roof. Its throwback styling and two-tone paint job also won hearts.

This is the second time VW has teased us with a concept van; the Bulli follows 2001's Microbus concept.

Volkswagen Bulli Concept at 2011 Geneva Motor Show
Volkswagen Bulli Needs to Be Built
More Volkswagen News on



Bring back the Karmann Ghia- I just restored a 1971 and love it!!


Yes, bring back the Karmann Ghia, but make it an EV!

They should make a small van. This is stupid, and terrible news!

I'm on the fence about this van. I mean I know what they were trying to do with the design and in theory it seems like a good idea, but this outcome makes me feel like they are trying to recreate the hippie van which is impossible.

Greg Ellis

They SHOULD "re-create" the "hippie van". There are a HECK OF A LOT of hippies (including NEW hippies) out there.

john p

Greg Ellis is right- looks like a good vehicle. Even for an old hippie like me...

Lord Gaga

I work at a mixed VW/Audi dealer. There are rumors of the imminent demise of the Routan. It will not be missed. It's a dismal POS, and we hate working on them. I am, however, very disappointed about the Bulli. I was hoping for a German alternative to replace my Xb.

Love the concept of creating a new "hippy" van but could you please bring back the original hippy van with updated features, like: anti lock brakes, power everything, air bags, and if possible all wheel drive?


NOOOOOOOOOOO! I am a soccer mom by necessity (not by choice) and I would LOVE to sport one of these beauties to cart my kids around! Please, please, please make them available for the American market!!!! Pretty please with a soccer ball on top?????


I think it looks sharp, though it also looks like an xB or a Kia Soul. The problem I would find is the cargo area behind the back seat is small. Backpacks, bookbags, groceries, snow gear go back there and with such a narrow space it would be a pit. It needed to be longer anyway. With a good roof rack and receiver hitch.


Wait, what? It's too small? Wouldn't that be the 2001 Microbus concept?

Patrick Phillips

My last van was the 1980 Vanagon, the last model with the air-cooled engine...and it's still running, though it needs a bit of engine cleaning, now. The fellow that I sold it to in '99 was a bit lax in the maintenance dept. I like the colors and design of this...but it doesn't state an engine size...or whether this is a hybrid. I'm not sold on the electrics in the northern climates where I live, especially if we have a winter with normal to below normal temps like those back in the '60s and '70s when temps reached the -20 t0 -40 F ranges.


If it had a diesel, diesel/hybrid engine I'd get it instantly.


Of all the crap decisions I've heard from the auto world over the years, this is the crappiest.


I live in Germany, and we're not going to get it either. Bad bad bad. I learned how to drive and then took my driving test on a '64 VW camper. The original! But the girls didn't like it...

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