All-purpose vehicle

Volkswagen has had two of the most loved models in the history of the automobile, both originally built on the same chassis. It's not surprising then, that the company keeps reprising them, bringing their relevance into focus. The latest evolution of the iconic Microbus/Kombi wagon surfaced in Geneva. The new 'Bulli' concept offers a flexible layout, seating for six, a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery, an 85 kW electric motor with 260 Nm torque,140 km/h (87 mph) top speed and a range of 300 km (186 miles). There's still not enough range just yet for a serious escape vehicle – if there's no electricity available where you're going, you're on a 90 mile leash – but suitable as an urban electric all-purpose vehicle. Read More
Industrial designer Carlos Mendez adopts a simple philosophy to his work – to make the world a better place. It was with this in mind that the honors graduate from California’s Art Center College of Design came up with his own 21st-century remodeling of the Ford Model T – the Mendez Cube. Read More
September 20, 2006 The potential benefits of an affordable dual-mode road-rail vehicle are immense and we’ve featured previous concept vehicles in this vein from Hokkaido, Toyota (a very clever hybrid eco-friendly transit system) and Silvertip Design’s stunning Bladerunner. Now Unimog special-vehicles division has taken the wraps off a production road-railer at the Innotrans 2006 show in Berlin. Unimog’s exhibit features eight road-railer models illustrating numerous implementation scenarios on both road and rail. These include a Unimog road-railer for cost-effective shunting or manoeuvring of hauled loads of up to 1000 tonnes, a vehicle equipped with an access-platform for overhead-line maintenance and an auxiliary vehicle with crew's quarters and hydraulic equipment for rerailing derailed wagons. The vehicles are equipped with hydraulically lowerable guide wheels, with the drive on the rails being provided by the vehicle's wheels. A broad range of special railway equipment is optionally available for the Unimog road-railer, including an inductive train control system. Read More
February 1, 2006 Alfa Romeo is to produce a Sportwagon version of the all-new Alfa Romeo 159 sports sedan which will grace showrooms around the globe by the middle of this year. The new Sportwagon will debut at the Geneva International Motor Show later this month, providing a successor to the highly successful Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon. The Alfa 159 Sportwagon represents a very desirable all-purpose vehicle, combining Italian style with the performance and handling of a genuine sportscar, and the flexibility of use and versatility of space expected from a high class wagon – a showroom quality “shooting brake” with 195kW performance at a fraction the cost of the best-of-both-worlds functionality normally associated with such models. Read More