Readers might be surprised by this news, considering that the automaker has not said much about the vehicle's future since it brought a Microbus concept car to the 2001 Detroit Auto Show.
The short answer as to what caused the hibernation of the Microbus is a change in management. With Volkswagen CEO Ferdinand Piëch behind it, the vehicle may have inched closer to reality in the last decade, but when Bernd Pischetsrieder took over the role and installed a new design lead, it went by the wayside and was officially canceled in 2006.
Fear not, however, for the Microbus is back. The new model will be built on the platform of the front-wheel drive Touran, a compact minivan sold outside North America. Although this means that it will likely be a bit smaller than originally intended, it is far better than the alternative. Intended to debut as a 2014 model, production on the Microbus should begin in 2013.
While nothing is set in stone yet, it appears as though Volkswagen will offer their typical four-cylinder gasoline and turbodiesel engine options, with driver's choice of either manual transmission or a six- or seven-speed automatic.
North American sales are almost a certainty, considering that there is still quite a bit of nostalgia for the vehicle from its popularity in the 70s.
To keep up to date on the status of the 2014 Volkswagen Microbus, readers should contact Auto Haus VW (http://www.autohausvw.com/