The folks at Volkswagen are no fools. When they brought back their iconic "Beetle" compact car in 1998 (albeit in slightly redesigned form — and a heftier price tag!), the company coundn't keep the little rascals in stock. Buoyed in no small part by nostalgia for the original "people's car," the neo-Beetle was a smash hit.
Now it appears that the Beetle's big brother — the classic "Microbus" of surfer/hippie fame — is poised to return from the dead as well. VW debuted the still-in-concept, battery-powered compact van (dubbed the "Bulli") at the recent Geneva Motor Show. But it wasn't just the new version of an old favorite that had the crowds going up and down: in this case, it really was "what's inside that counts."
Specifically, an iPad dock.
"Big deal," you might say. "Didn't you guys just post a story about some third-party iPad car holders?"
Well, yes — yes, we did. But the Bulli's fully integrated dock, it turns out, gets the concept absolutely right. The front dash-mounted swivel gives the driver and/or passenger easy access to the climate controls behind it. There's the expected control of Bluetooth phone calling and GPS functionality — but what's not expected is the on-dock panel with additional climate controls and the hazard-lights button, or the tight integration with the speedometer and multifunction display.
The only drawback we can see is: what happens when the iPad itself is upgraded? Will the dock, f'rinstance, work properly with the slimmer iPad 2? If not, the whole system runs the risk of becoming obsolete ??in only a few years. Hopefully, the engineers at VW will have worked out these kinks by the time the Bulli hits the road for real.
[Via Auto Spies]