Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the Budd-e concept at the CES which the company is keen to portray as the 21st century version of the iconic Microbus. The lineage is all too evident with both sharing similar looks but with the Budd-e incorporating futuristic tech to appeal to the 21st century crowd.
The front end is dominated by the large grille incorporating LED ambient lighting and is flanked by rather slim headlights on either side. The headlight fascia is stretched all the way back to the front door which does add some character to the sides. Similarly, the rear LED light flows from the tailgate and all the way up to the rear spoiler before merging into the C-shaped daytime running lights. Other notable style bits include the flared D pillar and the lack of door handles or wing mirrors.
The futuristic touch continues in the expansive interiors as well that houses digital displays in place of the analogue dials. In fact, this has been the speciality of the CES where digital displays have come to replace the analogue dashboard in almost all the concept cars that have made to the CES this year. An advanced gesture control system too has been previewed which aims to simplify things. For instance, simple gesture will now be enough for such acts as opening the door.
The Budd-e concept also comes with an advanced voice recognition system that responds to ‘Hello Budd-e’. The system is also intelligent enough to know who the speaker and can respond accordingly. For instance, if the passenger requests adjustments to the air-conditioning system, only those controls pertaining to the passenger will be changed.
Coming to the all-important powertrain, the Budd-e gets its motive power courtesy of two electric motors sitting atop either axle. A 101Kwh battery pack arranged along the floor provides the juice. Underpinning the Budd-e is a new platform dubbed Modular Electronic Toolkit which has been developed specifically for plug-in vehicles. Total range is pegged at a quite impressive 373 miles while top speed mentioned is 93 mph. There is a solar panel fitted on the roof as well.
The Budd-e can also act as an auxiliary source of power to run external appliances and comes with advanced connectivity options to communicate with say a smart device or the smart home of future.