VW e-Thing trademark reignites VW Type 181/VW Thing EV rumors

There’s evidence that suggests that, the VW ID. Thingzz, the rumored VW Type 181 with an electric powertrain, is on the mind of Volkswagen. Volkswagen Group has recently registered an ‘e-Thing’ trademark at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The VW e-Thing could be a concept of a VW Type 181 electric. While a trademark filing is in no way a confirmation of production plans, it is a hint that Volkswagen could soon showcase an early design study to gauge customer response before deciding on the project.

Volkswagen Group has registered an ‘e-Safari’ trademark at the EUIPO, which could be directly related to the new-age VW Type 181. Perhaps the marketing team is yet to decide the final name of the expected concept.

Volkswagen ID. electric car pipeline
By 2027, the VW ID. line-up would cover everything from a city car to a three-row SUV (VW ID.6), as well as offbeat ones like the VW Microbus and maybe even the VW Thing and the e-Beetle. Image Source: Volkswagen Group

VW Thing is returning as an EV, say British and German media reports

In August last year, carmagazine.co.uk reported that the VW Type 181 could make a comeback this decade as an all-electric car. The British publication called the future model ‘VW Junglezz.’ Volkswagen Group has registered this trademark at EUIPO, and it could use this name in the successor of the VW 181. As stated, a foreshadowing concept could be taking shape at a VW design studio.

The VW 181, or ‘VW Thing’ as Americans remember it, turned 50 in 2019. Volkswagen Group is looking for some “fascinating” models to invigorate the ID. family of next-gen electric cars, as per autobild.de. Sure, the Bulli/Microbus makes a comeback as the e-Bulli in 2022, reportedly in two wheelbase versions, but that’s not it. Volkswagen has several offbeat models on the list, and one of them is a VW Type 181 successor, says the German scoop story.

The VW Kubelwagen holds a special place in the heart of the company’s top boss Herbert Diess. The German publication says that the Volkswagen Group Chairman is sympathetic about the multi-purpose 4WD vehicle from the World War II era. The VW 181, originally a military vehicle officially known as the VW Kurierwagen (courier car), was a Kubelwagen spin-off. The German army had commissioned it, and production began in October 1969. Over 80% of the entire production of the cross-country vehicle was meant for civilian market sales.

VW Thing in the future “emotional” model range of the MEB platform

This isn’t the first time we hear of the VW Type 181’s comeback. In November 2017, Diess told autocar.co.uk that “the next decision (after the mainstream VW ID. models) will be what kind of emotional concepts we need.” Explaining what he meant by “emotional concepts,” Diess had clarified that the term covers iconic Volkswagens such as the Microbus, Beetle, Kubelwagen, and Buggy.

If relaunched, the VW Thing would be based on the MEB platform. A rear-wheel drive drivetrain layout would be standard and the option for an e-AWD with an additional front electric motor could be available on the top spec variant. The original model had an easy-folding PVC top, but the next-gen could feature an electrically foldable roof made of new-age material.

The market release of relatively low-volume VW ID. series models is unlikely to be held before 2025.

Featured image: VW Group