Remember the Thing?
With the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 making its debut in just a few weeks, a new era is about to begin for affordable electric cars. The ID.4 uses VW's new scalable MEB electric platform, which can accommodate a variety of models ranging from small hatchbacks and crossovers to large vans. VW has already confirmed that MEB will underpin the upcoming ID.Buzz and ID.Cargo, electric vans with retro styling from the original Samba bus.
According to a new trademark posted with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, VW's electric lineup could include another blast from its past. The German automaker recently trademarked the name 'e-Thing,' likely hinting at a new electric version of The Thing.
For those who don't remember, the VW Type 181 was a civilian-spec version of the military Kubelwagen used in World War II. It was marketed as the Thing in the US but also went by other names across the world, including Kurierwagen in West Germany, Trekker in the UK, Safari in Mexico and South America, and Pescaccia in Italy. Over 90,000 rolled off the assembly line from 1968 to 1983, all featuring removable doors and a convertible roof.
VW already teased a similar concept with the ID Buggy, but recent rumors claim that project was canceled. The e-Thing trademark is our first hint that the development efforts of the ID Buggy will not go to waste. This car has the potential for greatness.
The original Thing was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, as a no-frills vehicle to be used by the military. Sound familiar? It's the same origin story as the Jeep Wrangler. VW could bring back the Thing as a small EV with light off-road potential as a smaller alternative to people shopping for a Wrangler or the new Bronco. Details remain scarce, so it could be a few years before we see a concept or a production announcement.