Looks like: A Nissan Cube that got caught in a wind tunnel (or the MacBook Air version of the classic VW Microbus)
Defining characteristics: High-mileage, all-electric powertrain, superfast-charging battery, gesture controls
Ridiculous features: The entire space-age interior configuration and next-next-gen tech features contained therein
Chance of being mass-produced: It may vaguely represent some future production model, but it’s almost certainly just a vessel for showcasing Volkswagen’s latest technological advancements.
CARS.COM — Volkswagen is letting visitors to the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas get up close and personal with its new buddy … er, make that BUDD-e. The high-mileage, all-electric BUDD-e concept will introduce the German automaker’s latest innovations in both electric-drivetrain technology and advanced interactive features such as gesture control.
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The BUDD-e concept is powered by a zero-emissions drivetrain that VW says will allow an electric-only range of 233 miles (based on an EPA drive cycle), only about 40 miles less than present-day EV-mileage champ Tesla. The battery can be charged to 80 percent capacity in the time it takes to save 15 percent or more on your car insurance with Geico, according to the automaker.
Exterior styling bears a resemblance to the Nissan Cube, but with a more swept-back look, rounder edges and arched profile. The front end wears a large, wide-slatted horizontal grille that seamlessly transitions into wraparound headlights that stretch all the way to the front doors. A large VW emblem adorns the center of the grille, and C-shaped air intakes flank the front bumper.
Character lines and what appears to be a creased pathway for the sliding door span the entire profile, running across the four handle-less doors. The sleek roofline gravitates back into a rear spoiler, which is lined with an LED-like lighting strip that wraps around the top of the rear windshield like the arms of a Dungeness crab. The vehicle’s friendly name is emblazoned in large chrome letters across the rear door.