Electric Vehicles

To modernize a classic, VW added an e-Golf electric powertrain to a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

Volkswagen is exploring the potential of modernizing classic cars with new electric powertrains.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Classic cars sure are pretty to look at. But, they're not so great when it comes to running clean. A new movement in the classic car community looks to change that, swapping old engines for fresh electric motors.

Chevrolet highlighted the trend earlier this year on a 1962 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck and now Volkswagen is getting in on the game, showing off a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus that has been retrofitted by EV West to include the powertrain from a VW e-Golf.

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen has exchanged the powertrain in a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus for that in a 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf.

"Their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made EV West the ideal choice for this project," said Mathew Renna, VP G4, Volkswagen North American Region. "We thought, who better to see if the e-Golf powertrain would be the perfect fit for our older vehicles. It's great to see that the spirit of hot rodding is going to live on into the electric age."

The stock powertrain from a 2017 e-Golf features a 35.8kWh battery system that gives the Bus 125 miles of all-electric range. The powertrain sits in the rear compartment of the Bus, which previously held the vehicle's stock air-cooled 60-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The battery units are housed inside custom engineered and reinforced enclosures under the Bus's front seats where the fuel tank used to sit.

According to Volkswagen, "The independent rear suspension of the Type 2 Bay Window makes a perfect mate to the transverse driveline which is contained in a single unit that houses the 100kW synchronous AC permanent magnet electric motor, one-speed transmission and charging system."

The Bus's stock long-throw shifter now features park, reverse, neutral, drive, and regenerative braking modes. It has been fitted with a retro-inspired multifunction digital EV gauge on the dashboard.

"We are very excited to be a part of this project," said Michael Bream, Founder and CEO of EV West. "Merging a historic model from an iconic brand with the technology of today, is just one of many ways that we can step closer to a more sustainable future while continuing to enjoy our rich automotive heritage."

The Bus is painted Kansas Beige and Pastel White. It is not currently for sale.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Drive-in movie theaters may be making a comeback thanks to fears over the spread of COVID-19.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The drive-in movie theater is making a comeback. With the memory of a drive-in comes with nostalgia of movies of years past. Volkswagen recently picked their favorite movies starring VWs, vintage and modern. Scroll down to see them all.

"The Love Bug"

"The Love Bug" (1968): A down-on-his-luck race car driver and his mechanic discover a white 1963 Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. Starring: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson

"Footloose"

"Footloose" (1984, 2011): When a teenager gets pulled over for listening to rock-n-roll in his yellow 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, he realizes his small town is overdue for some change. Starring: Kenny Wormald (2011), Julianne Hough (2011), Dennis Quaid (2011), Kevin Bacon (1984), Lori Singer (1984), John Lithgow (1984)

"Pretty in Pink"

"Pretty in Pink" (1986): A high school misfit drives her light pink 1959 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia to the prom – a perfect accessory to her homemade, puffy-sleeved dress. Starring: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton

"Happy Gilmore"

"Happy Gilmore" (1996): The transformation of a hockey hack into a pro golfer takes many hilarious turns, including an attack with a white 1972 Volkswagen Super Beetle. Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen

"50 First Dates"

"50 First Dates" (2004): An art teacher suffering from short-term memory loss drives a sunny yellow 1973 Volkswagen Thing as she goes on dates around Hawaii. Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider

"Little Miss Sunshine"

"Little Miss Sunshine" (2006): A dysfunctional family comes together as they road-trip to California in a yellow 1971 Volkswagen T2 Microbus. Starring: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear

"Horrible Bosses"

"Horrible Bosses" (2011): Three disgruntled employees plot revenge against their oppressive bosses from a silver 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis

"Bumblebee"

"Bumblebee" (2018): When a teenager discovers a beat-up yellow 1967 Volkswagen Beetle in a junkyard, she unwittingly brings an extraterrestrial civil war to Earth. Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena

"Once Upon A Time in Hollywood"

"Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" (2019): An actor's stunt double drives a baby blue 1964 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia as he struggles to find meaningful work in the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age. Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie

"Between Two Ferns: The Movie"

"Between Two Ferns: The Movie" (2019): In his quest to earn a show on network TV, a comedian drives his 2006 Volkswagen Passat wagon across the country, interviewing celebrities along the way.

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Hyundai has shown off a refresh of the Santa Fe SUV, which includes two new powertrain options.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai has given the world its first glimpse of a new Santa Fe. With the release of a new teaser photo, the Korean automaker has announced that hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants of the SUV are on their way, as well as a host of interior updates.

The image reveals as slightly bolder Santa Fe, with its daytime running lights and grille combining at the front of the car. The new design incorporates a "T" shape, making Hyundai the second automaker to employ such a design in modern autos. Volvo has had a sideways "T" for its headlights since the current XC90 generation debuted, calling it "Thor's hammer". There will, naturally, be comparisons to the Tesla logo.

Hyundai Vision T concept car suv The Hyundai Vision T concept SUV debuted at the LA Auto Show in November. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The move to debut a hybrid and PHEV version of the Santa Fe comes as no surprise. Hyundai has promised that they will reveals 13 hybrids, six PHEVs, 23 electric vehicles (EVs), and two fuel cell vehicles by mid-decade.

In the U.S., the mode is sold with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower) or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (235 horsepower). Both engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The European version of the model currently only is available with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel power plant, with a manual or automatic transmission.

Front-wheel drive is standard in the U.S. with all-wheel drive available. European models only are available with 4x4.

U.S. buyers can currently choose from three plug-in models in the Hyundai lineup, the Kona Plug-In, Sonata Plug-In and the Ioniq Plug-In. Those models are also available as hybrids, as is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra.

At the LA Auto Show last November, Hyundai unveiled a concept SUV that championed eco-conscious lifestyle choices, including electric power. Though it's thought that the model serves as a study for the next-generation Tucson, it's likely that we'll see some parallels between the Santa Fe hybrid and PHEV, and the forthcoming new Tucson. Hyundai frequently reveals concepts that give hints at new model news.

It's also quite likely that the Hyundai Santa Cruz utility truck will be born as a hybrid later this year.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. No word yet on when, or if, it makes its way to U.S. dealerships.

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