VW Microbus-inspired Nimbus van keeps the dream alive

Production of the VW Type 2 Microbus ended in Brazil last year, where it had been built since 1957, but its spirit lives on and evolves in a fantastic concept drawn up by a local designer.

The Nimubs is a 21st century take on the hippie van that looks like it’s ready for a very long, strange trip … on Mars. The ovoid 4x4 rides high with its wheels located out at the very corners of the vehicle and passengers sitting tall in the saddle.

Made from carbon fiber, aluminum and titanium, it’s lightweight and powered by batteries that are good for up to 200 miles, but has a backup micro-generator to produce electricity for longer trips. Not fast ones. Like its inspiration, the Nimbus takes its time, dawdling to 60 mph in 13 seconds on its way to a top speed of 80-100 mph.

Solar panels allow it to mooch a little of the sun’s energy along the way, which it can put toward cooling down its small refrigerator. Self-cleaning surfaces -- unspecified, but perhaps like a recent Nissan concept -- add to its greenness, but requiring less soap and water to wash.

That is if it were real. As it is, the Nimbus exists only on Eduardo Galvani’s website, and isn’t on its way to production anytime soon.

But the dream lives on.