Only the Commercial Vehicles division of Volkswagen Vehicles could come to mind (and realize) the operation e-Bullies, that is the update with a propulsion 100% electric of a very rare and expensive T1 Samba, that is, the minibus that the House of Wolfsburg put on the market in 1951, evolving then in the versions with the famous body 23 and 21 windows. A Samba T1 today reaches values worthy of a sports shoe, with prices that oscillate between 200 and 250 thousand euro, depending on the history and state of preservation. The price of the ‘basic’ intervention to build the e-Bullies must be added the more than 64thousand euro that the German specialist eClassics, based in Renningen, asks to transform a vehicle of the series T1 or T2 with electric motor 61 kW, battery pack, new suspension and all the electronics of the control.
The ‘strength’ of Volkswagen, perhaps with the complicity of a body of a replacement of the T1, hidden in some nook and cranny of the warehouse, however, has allowed to carry out this operation of genetic mutation in which the DNA of a historical model (born in 1966) with petrol engine 44 Hp, was combined with the state-of-the-art electrification Vw, ‘stealing’ elements of the platform, the MEB is made of the ID.3, and which will also the modern heir 100% of the van Bulli.
The boxer engine four-cylinder, original, mounted in the back position, has given way to a silent electric unit that delivers 61 kW (corresponding to 81 Hp) and delivers a maximum torque of 212 Nm, which is double of what used to be the engine T1 original, 1966 (102 Nm). The transmission operates through a transmission to a single speed, driven – for seiezionare forward, reverse, neutral and parking – lever for the dl look is decidedly modern, which is located between the driver’s and passenger’s seat. Note that there is also a position B, with which the driver can vary the intensity of the recovery of energy during slowing down and braking. The energy to move the e-Bullies is supplied by a lithium-ion battery, with a capacity of 45 kWh. For his gstione eClassics has developed a special system of the power electronics located in the rear. With this new propulsion system and back to the Bully reaches a maximum speed of 130 km/h (electronically limited), well, then, to the value of 105 km/h which characterized the T1 original petrol. The autonomy of the e-Bulli with full load is over 200 kilometres. The ‘supply’ of energy to the battery is carried out with a pin in CCS that allows the use of alternating current with a power of between 2.3 and 22 kW and a continuous current of up to 50 kW of charging power. In the latter case, it can be charged to 80% in 40 minutes.
The ‘mutation’ of the T1 is not limited, however, to the propulsion system: for housing the electrical unit and especially the batteries to the frame (identical to that of the vw Beetle) has been redesigned, adopting axles, multi-link front and rear, shock absorbers adjustable and a new steering system rack-and-pinion. Unpublished also the braking system and four ventilated brake discs internally, which combine the characteristics of ‘slow’ electric powertrain.
The designers have modernized the iconic exterior of the vehicle with great sensitivity, preserving the two-tone finish Energy Metallic Orange and more Matte Metallic Golden Sand but emphasizing the transition to the modern era with details like the new Led headlights are round, which include the daytime running lights. The interior – with the characteristic 8 beds divided on three rows of seat has been redesigned without altering the taste of the Samba original. For the e-Bulli Volkswagen has created an interior that is elegant in its taste back, but also cutting edge, with a discreet digital display (for electrical functions) placed in the original dashboard, the buttons from the traditional look located on the dashboard and a floor covered in solid wood, which imitates the appearance of the vintage boats.