As anybody with an Internet connection and a screen can tell you, electric pickup trucks are enjoying the spotlights these days, but we needn’t overlook another segment that’s currently in the midst of complete electrification: vans. Currently, the Old Continent seems to enjoy more battery-powered commercial vehicles than America (more on how this is set to change below). And while the bulk of these machines ride the futuristic design wave, why not enjoy a trip down the nostalgia route with a revived Chevy Astro van, here in the form of a rendering?
In North America, companies such as Rivian, Ford, and GM’s BrightDrop brand have already brought electric vans to the streets, while the list of automakers preparing to follow suit is much larger (think: Bollinger, Canoo, Mercedes-Benz, and VW). In general, these are cargo horses, since those with the need to haul many passengers mostly turn to SUVs these days.
However, things weren’t always so, which brings us to the Astro—instead of competing against Chrysler’s first-gen minivans, which came about in the early 1980s, GM decided to release the Chevy Astro and GMC Safari back in 1985, with these being slightly shorter than full-size vans (think: 1.5 inches) and coming in both cargo and passenger versions. A serious revision landed in 1995 and survived for another decade, with this adding optional AWD to the RWD offering.
These bad boys could do more than minivans, so once the school run was over, one could enjoy some 1,700 lbs of payload or tow 5,000 lbs, while the Mk2 upped the ante on coziness, with cabin amenities booming. Besides, they came with a cool design. Their demise? This was mostly related to poor safety and lack of refinement.
Now, returning to the EV pickups mentioned in the intro, Chevy stormed into this new year by releasing the 2024 Silverado EV earlier this month. As opposed to the more traditional F-150 Lightning, this uses a clean-sheet approach, riding on the GM Ultium platform that also underpins the GMC Hummer EV, while sporting a new-age design.
The proposed Astro electric van is loaded with assets (pun intended)
Well, the futuristic styling of the 2024 Silverado EV has now been translated on the original Astro, with the result being nothing short of spectacular—you can enjoy a retro take on such an imaginary van thanks to this Ford Bronco “Foward Control”, though.
Digital artist Marouane Bembli (aka The Sketch Monkey) steer away from the high front end that defines trucks, with this resulting in a sportier approach that better fits the van genre.
In his Photoshop stunt, which is detailed via the clip below, the pixel master even adapted a retro shade of blue to the current battery-packed era.
And while the original Astro never enjoyed V8 firepower (a 200 hp V6 was the most potent unit), an electric powertrain, whose packaging is mighty efficient, could deliver up to 664 hp and 780 lb-ft of torque when borrowing the Silverado EV specs. So, what’s not to love about an Astro EV?