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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Thing Could Make A Return to Volkswagen

    Iconic Volkswagen models could be returning as EVs

    Do you remember the Volkswagen Kübelwagen? You might know it better as the Thing sold in 1970s. Volkswagen could be bringing it back as an electric vehicle.

    Speaking with Car and Driver, Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess said the upcoming MEB (Modular Electrification Toolkit) architecture might be the perfect platform to bring back some of the company's iconic vehicles like the Thing.

    “MEB is flexible—rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive—and we have so many emotional concepts. I don’t know if you remember the Kübelwagen. This Thing is a nice car. Then there are all the buggies, the kit cars. We have the bus. We have the various derivatives of the bus. We have so many exciting concepts in our history that we don’t have to do a Beetle,” said Diess.

    This possible idea isn't that all surprising as Volkswagen as the I.D. Buzz was inspired by the Microbus.

    Speaking of the Beetle, Car and Driver asked if there will be a replacement for this model. As we have reported previously, the Beetle could be canned due to poor sales.

    “No decision yet. The next decision on the electric cars will be, ‘What kind of emotional concepts do we need?’ [A decision] might happen next year. This Beetle won’t go electric; the next one might, if there is a next one. We have a good chance on the electric side to do derivatives and emotional derivatives. It’s probably more efficient to do so than in [internal combustion] cars,” said Diess.

    “We could [build an electric Beetle], because it is rear-wheel drive, no grille. If we wanted to do a Beetle electrically, it would be much better than the current car. Much closer to the history of the Beetle. [But] I think the Microbus is a much better emotional concept for the brand than the Beetle. If you go to California, everybody would say it’s the bus.”

    Source: Car and Driver


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    3 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Ugh, so NOT cool.  Ruining legends.  Sullying pleasant memories.  And going down the tubes.

    As I posted earlier today, Toshiba has brought fast filling to the EV's and that is a game changer.

     

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    3 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    So you have to move it to the VW section so someone will read it?  K...   :smilewide:

    Naw, plenty of smart people have read it, but horse with blinders has to be led to the water. Did not want you to throw a shoe, so brought the drinking trough closer to you. :P 

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    I will say that is one of the very cool things about the flexibility of a platform like this- it opens up so many more options for 'drivetrain' layouts. A neo-Thing would be very cool, indeed. Though, I'm not sure what role such a vehicle would have in the real world. If it's nothing other than nostalgia and retro, I find it odd that they would make such a vehicle, but then be so unsure about the future of the Beetle.

     

    VW should just keep making the Beetle until it can be moved to an EV platform. VW sells every Beetle it makes, and we sell at ours at MSRP almost always. They really have nothing to lose by making it for another 2-3 years before transitioning to MEB.

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    8 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    I will say that is one of the very cool things about the flexibility of a platform like this- it opens up so many more options for 'drivetrain' layouts. A neo-Thing would be very cool, indeed. Though, I'm not sure what role such a vehicle would have in the real world. If it's nothing other than nostalgia and retro, I find it odd that they would make such a vehicle, but then be so unsure about the future of the Beetle.

     

    VW should just keep making the Beetle until it can be moved to an EV platform. VW sells every Beetle it makes, and we sell at ours at MSRP almost always. They really have nothing to lose by making it for another 2-3 years before transitioning to MEB.

    Must be a regional thing as they cannot give away the bugs here in Washington. They are stacked up much like Fiat's. Just sitting around as a paperweight.

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    Once upon a time ago, in my teens when I was learning a lot about WW2, I liked the Kübelwagen (I refuse to call it "The Thing"). It was a very good WW2 general purpose, light military vehicle that served its country well. It was just as good as our Jeep despite not having 4 wheel drive.

    I became an adult and started idolizing the Nazi war machine. No! NOT the Nazis! But their military engineering, their weapons, their airplanes, tanks, trucks, guns, etc.

    The Nazis had awesome technology. We are lucky to have won!

    But...in the last decade...that idolization that I had for Nazi weapons has slowly diminished and now...I am even embarrassed and mad as hell that I once idolized the weapons that terrorized a big part of the planet. 

    I could admit that Nazi war technology was superior. But I CANNOT say anymore that I like it!

    I would NEVER buy any Kübelwagen. Even if it would be a modern EV made by Volkswagen in 2022 or whenever  80 years AFTER WW2 ended!

    Why?

    My dad fought AGAINST what the Kübelwagen stands for in 1944 and in 1945!

    My mom was a little girl in a Greek village when my grandma had to feed Nazi soldiers by force in my grandfather's house riding in these Kübelwagens.

    In 1979, I came across my first German landmine....it was an empty shell. My grandma was feeding her chickens with it (water) as it was turned upside down and used as a dish.

    PHOQUE Volkswagen for that!

    I WONT forget! I will NEVER forget!

    I might buy a VW Golf GTI type R one day. I dont hold VW responsible for what the Nazis did...but a Kübelwagen is where I draw that line!

    Sorry for that rant. I did not know how to react to this news...but I let my feelings guide me as I was typing this...and my true emotions came out!

    And now...I feel a lot better!

     

     

     

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    • I always liked the Kabinenroller. ;)

    • The VW Thing will always rank in my top 5 of the most offensive motor vehicles ever manufactured.

    • I see no degree of shame in recognizing factually accurate historical events. "Idolization' doesn't have to be a part of that.

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    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    Why do internet bozos keep saying it looks like a VW... when it clearly reflects on the 1970's Civic CVCC?  Too odd.

    Meh, probably cause those of us in the 70's was all about American Iron still even with the oil embargo and the japanese did not register, such craptastic auto's they were building then along side craptastic detroit and craptastic german. :P 

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    25 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    • I see no degree of shame in recognizing factually accurate historical events. "Idolization' doesn't have to be a part of that.

    You are right.

    Im just confused emotionally with that part of history.

    Ever since I lost my dad a decade ago to cancer, I equate my memories of him as a WW2 vet. (Yes he meant more to me than just him being a WW2 vet, especially when he met my mom in the 1960s got married to her in 1968 and had me in 1973...WW2 was long since past by then...duh!)

    The reason for that though is that Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day equivalent) in Canada (and all of the British Commonwealth) is on November 11. 
    The "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918, WW1 ended...

    OK...I went to several ceremonies with him...so...

     My dad died on the 8th of November...and while he was in Palliative care at the hospital, we knew that his days were limited at that point,  I was going to go to the ceremony alone that year to pray for him and all the soldiers that died during all of Canada's wars.  Well, he did not make it...and I had a funeral for him instead so my memory of him remains as a soldier. 

    Every year I watch Saving Private Ryan and The Great Escape and I cry.

    For him and for the thousands of lives lost. And every year that goes by...I hate Nazi Germany a tad more.

    And although I can respect their weapons...I just feel shame for liking them in the first place. I dont know how that became to be. All I know is that my feelings are really strong against them. I know it does not have to be that way...the feelings are just too strong for me to not be this way. Maybe Ill mellow out again.

     

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    Had your father been killed in WWII, I could see logic to the shame as you described. Not to say your feelings are illogical, but then that's not a cornerstone of feelings anyway.

    I'm older than you but my father was born a few weeks after Pearl Harbor. His father was not in the War- he was 4-F for an unknown medical reason. But in doing my family's genealogy, there were dozens of servicemen in my tree. My wife's father was 1 of 5 brothers in WWII (all survived). I don't know that I could have made the same brave choice in youth they & your father did.

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