Electric Vehicles

Volkswagen e-BULLI concept is a little bit vintage, a little bit futuristic

Volkswagen has partnered with eClassics to retrofit a 1966 T1 Samba Bus and make it an electric vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen e-BULLI concept takes the company's focus on green living and a respect for heritage vehicles a step further. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) has retrofitted a 1966 T1 Samba Bus with an electric powertrain and converted it to a modern, family-friendly hauler.

VWCV partner eClassics, a company that specializes in electric vehicle conversions, is planning to offer T1 conversions in the style of the new e-BULLI to European customers. It's okay to pout, Americans.

The e-BULLI concept started its life in Hanover, Germany before spending a half-century on the roads of California.

2020 Volkswagen e-BULLI Concept

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Conversion started at by removing the bus's 43-horsepower four-cylinder engine that yielded 75 pound-feet of torque and replacing it with a Volkswagen electric motor that produces nearly double the power - 82 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. The motor is powered by a single-speed gearbox.

The motor works in tandem with a 45 kWh lithium-ion battery. The plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) is charged via an AC charger with charging power of 2.3 to 22 kW, depending on electricity source. Thanks to the e-BULLI's CCS charging socket the high-voltage battery can also be charged at DC fast-charging points with up to 50 kW of charging power. In this case it can be charged up to 80 percent in 40 minutes. The model's range is around 124 miles.

The bus's automatic transmission selector features P, R, N, D, and B (park, reverse, neutral, drive, and braking). When the lever is in the B position, the driver can vary the degree of energy recuperation the vehicle achieves while braking. It has an electronically limited top speed of 80 mph. The T1's original max speed was 65 mph (though it took a while to get there).

According to a release, "All of the electric drive system's standard parts are being made by Volkswagen Group Components in Kassel. The lithium-ion modules are designed at the Braunschweig components site. They are transferred by eClassics into a battery system appropriate for the T1." The battery is housed in the bus's floor.

The restoration and conversion company has improved the T1's chassis including redesigned multi-link front and rear axles with adjustable shock absorbers and coilover struts. There's also a new rack-and-pinion steering system and four internally ventilated disc brakes.

The T1's design has been refreshed to be modern with a touch of retro. The look was developed by the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles design center in cooperation with VWCV Vintage Vehicles and the Communications department.

Its two-tone paint is colored Energetic Orange Metallic and Golden Sand Metallic Matte. The new round LED headlamps feature daytime running lights. At the rear, there are LED charge indicators, which signal to a driver walking up to the e-BULLI how much charge the lithium-ion battery still has even before they reach the vehicle.

The reimagined interior features two colors: Saint Tropez and Saffrano Orange. The flow is made of solid wood designed to be reminiscent of a ship's deck. It also has a large panoramic floating roof.

The cockpit has new speedometer that is based on the original, Integrated LEDs indicate whether, for instance, the parking brake is on or the charging connector is plugged in. An additional detail in the center of the speedometer: a stylized Bulli symbol. A multitude of further information is shown via a tablet integrated into the roof console.

Using Volkswagen We Connect the e-BULLI driver can also call up information online by smartphone app or via a PC and a corresponding web portal such as on remaining charge time, current range, miles travelled, trip times, energy consumption and recuperation. Music on board comes from an authentic-looking retro-style radio, which, however, is equipped with cutting edge technology such as DAB+, Bluetooth, and USB.

European customers can fulfil their dream of owning an emission-free T1 at eClassics. They are offering the T1 conversion, complete with redesigned front and rear axles, at prices starting from 64,900 euros. T2 and T3 conversions are being offered by eClassics too. The company is also offering qualified dealers a ready-to-fit parts kit.

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The Lamborghini Huracán STO is the latest addition to the popular Huracán lineup.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

It's the purest concentration of Lamborghini motorsports possible, made into a road car. It has a big engine, wide haunches, and attitude to spare. Power? That's not even a question.

The new Lamborghini Huracán STO brings together the prowess of the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and GT3 EVO race cars but in a format that makes it a possible daily driver. The Huracán GT3 EVO is noted for its three 24 Hours of Daytona and two 12 Hours of Sebring wins. The Huracán Super Trofeo EVO was designed for the Super Trofeo race series.

Powered by a naturally aspirated V10 engine that puts out 640 horsepower and 416 pound-feet of torque, the rear-wheel drive Huracán STO can take drivers from zero to 62 mph in just 3.0 seconds. It gets from zero to 124 mph in 9.0 seconds. Lamborghini has given the car a top speed of 192 mph.

Lamborghini Hurac\u00e1n STO The hood and fenders of the car have been combined into a one-piece component.Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Lamborghini has given the car an increased wheel track, stiffer suspension bushing, specific anti-roll bars, and MagneRide 2.0. These help with its daily drivability. The engine has been calibrated to be responsive with a direct pedal-to-throttle feeling and improved engine sound sharpness at high revs. Gearchange speed has been increased.

Lamborghini has given the car three new driving modes: STO, Trofeo, and Pioggia. The default STO mode is for road driving and fun on curving roads. In Trofeo mode, the car's systems are optimized for dry asphalt and the fastest lap times on the track. Pioggia (rain) mode optimizes traction control, torque vectoring, rear-wheel steering, and the ABS on wet asphalt.

"The Huracán STO delivers all the excitement of a beautifully balanced, lightweight and aerodynamically superior super sports car, mirroring the driving feeling and exhilaration of Super Trofeo, and perfectly set up for the world's most demanding tracks but created for the road," said Maurizio Reggiani, Chief Technical Officer.

"The extensive technical solutions and intelligence gained from both our Super Trofeo and GT3 programs has been refined and embodied in the Huracán STO, allowing the pilot to experience the emotions of a racing driver, daily, in a road-legal Lamborghini super sports car able to take lap records."

Lamborghini Hurac\u00e1n STO The car's wing allows for massive changes in the airflow of the car.Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Lamborghini says that every aspect of the car is designed to balance efficiency and weight. The car features a cofango that is a single piece that combines the hood and fender and was inspired by the Lamborghini Miura and Sesto Elemento.

At the rear, a new fender finds its roots in the Super Trofeo EVO and achieves increased downforce and improves aerodynamic efficiency. The revised rear hood has an air scoop that encourages air cooling at the rear underwood. Dedicated air deflectors manage that airflow and help regulate the car's temperature.

This airflow improves the car's cornering ability while the car's adjustable rear wing optimizes aerodynamic balance and drag resistance depending on track characteristics. The Huracán STO achieves the highest level of downforce in its class. Overall airflow efficiency is improved by 37 percent and downforce has been increased by 53 perfect over the Huracán Performante.

More than 75 percent of the car's body panels are made of carbon fiber. The rear fender features a carbon fiber 'sandwich' technique that is traditionally utilized in the aerospace industry. This allows the car to have 25 percent less carbon fiber material while retaining its structural rigidity.

A lightweight windscreen and magnesium rims continue the lightweighing theme, which also carries over to the interior, which is filled with carbon fiber. Its sport seats are made of the material. Carpets have been removed in favor of a carbon fiber floor while the door panels have been made of the material as well.

Owners of the Huracán STO can fully personalize both the exterior and interior of their race car- on-the-road via a rich Ad Personam personalization program, with limitless paint and trim combinations as well as race-style vinyls.

The first customers will take delivery of the new Lamborghini Huracán STO in spring 2021. Pricing for U.S. customers starts at $327,838.

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Little Sesame's Volkswagen Bus allows the restaurant's chefs to travel the country in search of new flavors.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Holiday shoppers this year, once again, have shopping small on the mind. For some businesses, their idea of small is smaller than most. From a hummus shop to a coffee shop, to a mobile bookstore, many small business owners rely on vintage Volkswagen products to help their businesses run.

Little Sesame

Little Sesame Volkswagen Bus

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

In 2015, chefs Nick Wiseman and Ronen Tenne opened their hummus shop in Washington, D.C. They didn't just want another restaurant, they wanted to create a different way of doing business than they'd experienced in some of the New York City area kitchens they'd cooked in over the years. They wanted travel.

In order to inspire new flavors , Wiseman and Tenne hop into their robin's egg blue 1978 Volkswagen Bus and explore the country. Their current Bowl of the Week brings in autumn and wintertime flavors with ingredients like maple roasted winter squash, pomegranate molasses, crispy chickpeas, za'ata, and herbs.

The restaurant, with locations in the Golden Triangle and Chinatown, is currently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer catering and meal kits as well as online ordering for pickup and delivery.

Dom's Coffee

In Farmington Valley, Connecticut, a European-style coffee shop sits on a strip of real estate next to buildings similar to what you'd find in nearly anyone's hometown - a car dealership and a church. The brick-and-mortar shop was opened by Andrius Plankis and Asta Plankiene in May 2015, two years after the couple emigrated to the U.S. from Lithuania.

In addition to their shop, they run a fully-equipped mobile espresso bar out of the back of a Volkswagen Atlas R-Line. Their specialty is artistically crafted drinks including espressos, affogatos, specialty lattes, cold brews, and hot chocolates.

The Cincy Book Bus

The Cincy Book Bus

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

After retiring from 25 years of teaching, Melanie Moore decided it was time to pursue her dream: opening a bookstore. But she didn't just want to own the shop around the corner, she wanted to have a business that would work to get books into the hands of children that need them the most. Just as she was about to sign a lease for a storefront, she got cold feet.

Inspired by a novel centered around a fictional, female horse-drawn carriage bookseller, Moore decided to launch the Cincy Book Bus – a mobile bookstore – out of the bed of her husband's teal 1962 Volkswagen Transporter. The van holds about 150 books, and Moore regularly rotates titles to cater to her audiences.

Moore dedicates her profits to stocking classroom libraries.

While these three businesses are small, three large corporations (including Nike) were founded from humble beginnings thanks in no small part to their Volkswagens. Click here to read their stories.

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