So often, concepts get lost in the shuffle and never amount to anything, and sometimes, this is for the better. Other times, a concept that just needs to die manages to carry into production, and it appears the latter is about to happen after a new report from Car Magazine claims the BUDD-e concept from VW will become a production model.
Car spoke with Dr Volkmar Tanneberger, head of electronic development at VW, regarding the BUDD-e, and he said, “You will see a car that looks a lot like this, on the MEB platform, reach production. I can’t say exactly when, but 2020 or thereabouts.” Depending on how much of the concept VW uses will help determine just how good this news is.
If VW is simply talking about the general sense of the van—being an EV and all—then it is great news. The BUDD-e concept featured a near-250-mile range on battery power alone, a flat battery that opened up tons of cabin room, and a platform that was scalable to many different types of electric-powered vehicles.
Where I get nervous is in its looks. The BUDD-e isn’t overly ugly, but it’s also not what I would call a sharp design. The cube look never took off here in the U.S.—ask Nissan—and I just don’t see buyers clamoring to get their hands on one. Hopefully, Volkswagen decides to ease up on the boxy look and go for a more traditional MPV design that buyers can consider picking up without worrying that it looks like they’re driving a brick.
One area that will clearly have to change when moving from concept to production is the interior. The lounge-style rear seating will almost certainly have to go in favor of a more traditional seating arrangement.
Given the reports claims we could see this production van sometime around 2020, we will likely start seeing some test mules in the next year, or so. We’ll bring you any additional details we can on the BUDD-e as they become available, so keep it locked here.