It may seem like a strange alliance, but Volkswagen and British rock group The Who have joined forces. And the result could see the return of the firm’s much loved camper van.
Auto Express can also exclusively reveal that it’s likely the band’s
classic single Magic Bus will be the soundtrack for any TV, radio or Internet commercials.
The Who – which used a VW Camper as transport in its early years – performed at the vehicle’s recent 60th birthday celebrations in Hanover, Germany. Immediately after its gig in front of 40,000 adoring fans, the supergroup spent time with top VW executives from Germany and the UK. There, guitarist Pete Townshend revealed he still has at least one ageing VW bus parked in his garage at home. And now, there is a growing possibility that he will be one of the first people to take delivery of a cleaner and safer next-generation version. VW announced in 2005 that the Microbus concept it revealed at the 2001 Detroit Motor Show would not go into production because it would be too expensive to manufacture. But now, the company is investigating whether it can design and build a more simple replacement for the Camper, which is nicknamed the Bulli in Germany.
As with the Microbus, the redesigned version will have an unashamedly retro look. However, a stripped-out, less is more appearance will help keep costs down and make the vehicle more accessible to buyers on tighter budgets. According to VW, the new Camper will almost certainly be built in the US, and it’s equally likely that it will be badged Bulli – a name that the company has only recently registered to itself.
But bosses admit that unless they can sell at least 100,000 examples of the car worldwide every year, the project may not be financially viable.