Latest iPad Accessory: an Electric VW Bus
The put-an-iPad-in-your-car trend hasn't really caught on, and that's kind of a shame. The iPad really does make an ideal instrument panel/car audio controller, but implementations to date haven't been that impressive. However, Volkswagen has been turning heads at the Geneva Auto Show with it's 21st century re-imagining of the VW Bus as an electric vehicle with a built-in iPad, and the way they implemented it is drawing raves
Volkswagen's concept car is called the Bulli, which is what the VW Bus was called in West Germany when it was first released in 1950. It shares the bench seats and two-tone paint job of its namesake but other than that and the big VW logo on the front, it bears no resemblance to the original. This is a four-door city car, rather than a minivan, and what's more it has an all-electric drivetrain. Its 113 horsepower electric motor gets the Bulli from 0 to 60 in about 11 seconds, almost twice as fast as its namesake. It has a top speed of 87 mph, and the 40 kWh lithium ion battery pack gives it a range of 185.4 miles.
The iPad can be docked to a mount on the dash that swivels so that it faces either the driver or the front seat passenger. It can also be removed so the folks in the back can use it to access the same multifunctional display that's behind the steering wheel: the speedometer, navigation system, telephone and trip computer are all available on the iPad. You can also use it to control the vehicle's "media center," including the sound system designed by Fender
, the American guitar and amplifier manufacturer.
The Bulli is only a concept car, but VW did tell attendees of the Geneva Auto Show that direct-injection versions of the automaker's gasoline and diesel powerplants, in displacements of from 1.0 liters to 1.4 liters, could fit inside the engine compartment.
So it's possible that we could see a production version of this vehicle... eventually. The popular New Beetle first appeared in auto shows as a concept in the early 1990s, years before it rolled off showroom floors.
, images via Volkswagen