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Volkswagen have loaded an electric 1962 Splitty with next-gen tech

05/07/2019
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To jazz up the announcement of Volkswagen's rebranding of the Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) - which is soon to be known as the Innovation and Engineering Centre California (IECC) - the company at the same time revealed a much more intriguing rebrand. Meet the upgraded Type 2 - the all-electric Type 20.

The Type 20 features an all-electric powertrain and is fully loaded with modern technology
(Image via Volkswagen)

Smashing together classic, iconic styling with futuristic technology, the Type 20 combines some of VW's proudest heritage with a host of experimental technologies not quite ready for roadways. 

Features include:

  • The moment the driver approaches the door it heats up, with a pneumatic suspension system developed in collaboration with Porsche lifts the van up to greet you.

  • A facial recognition system scans your features with a 720p wide-angle camera pointed in the second driver's side window, analyses them through sensory software running on the Nvidia Jetson TX2, and pops the door locks.

  • A voice control system communicates with those outside the van using both audio and LED-based visual cues.

  • A Looking Glass II holographic infotainment display in the dashboard creates three-dimensional images without the need to wear distracting glasses.

  • The orange organic-growth styling of the wheels, side mirror supports and interior structural elements are developed with Autodesk's generative design, a process that concentrates strength while minimizing material and weight.

  • A small 10-kWh battery pack powers a single electric motor for up to 120 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque.

As well as standing out in a vibrant orange colour, the wheels are developed with Autodesk's generative design to minimise material and weight while retaining strength
(Image via Volkswagen)

The revolutionary upgrade to a classic vehicle was not entirely unrelated to VW's new centre, with the IECC said to have the biggest impact on the future of Volkswagen technology.

Its employees will focus on connected car, intelligent cockpit and autonomous driving and parking projects for the North American region. It will serve as VW's largest vehicle research facility outside of Germany.

"We are excited to move into our next chapter as the IECC, to continue designing innovations that will bring the Volkswagen Group vehicles into the future with cutting-edge technology," says Nikolai Reimer, IECC senior VP. "The Type 20 is a fantastic example of how we celebrate our heritage while striving to advance our technology."

Though this one-of-a-kind tech-enhanced campervan may not be on the roads yet - so we have no way of knowing if the addition of modern tech will fully rob the Type 2 of its '60s spirit - it has certainly drawn attention to the advances being developed for future VWs at the IECC.

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Volkswagen have loaded an electric 1962 Splitty with next-gen tech - Time to read 3 min
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