It’s been five years since the Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show. Today, after years of speculation, the production versions have finally been revealed. It goes on sale later this year, though American buyers will have to wait until 2024 to get their hands on one.
The ID. Buzz is a throwback to the original Volkswagen Microbus, officially called the Type 2. This classic VW van, which was offered in cargo, passenger, and camper variants, was an icon of the 1960s and 1970s.
Like the Microbus, the ID. Buzz is a very upright shape. A box with round corners, it boasts a look that’s very much like the original. That’s right down to the XXL Volkswagen emblem on the front, though in this one, your seat is not quite over the front bumper as in the original.
This Isn’t Your Parents’ VW Bus
Though clearly inspired by the Microbus, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz isn’t just an updated copy like the New Beetle was to its predecessor.
“We very consciously ensured that we were not making another [Type 2]. The ID. Buzz shows that it is successfully transferring the genes and stylistic elements of that iconic vehicle into the digital era,” said head of Volkswagen design, Jozef Kabaň.
The ID. Buzz uses LED lights for the headlights and taillights, but Volkswagen has also added a light strip that bridges the gaps between headlights and the large emblem.
At the back, what was the engine cover in the original is now a full-height hatch. The taillights connect with a light strip through the middle for the first time on a Volkswagen commercial vehicles model.
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz uses the same platform as the ID.3 and ID.4. Called MEB, it’s expected to be used to build 80% of Volkswagen Group EVs by 2025.
Electric Rear-Wheel-Drive Power
The ID. Buzz will debut with one driveline option. A 201 hp electric motor paired with a gross 82 kWh (77 net) cobalt-free, lithium-ion battery pack and 170 kWh fast charging. Volkswagen didn’t give range estimates at the time of the reveal.
While that rear-wheel-drive ID. Buzz will start the lineup, Volkswagen says that “more battery versions of various power output levels will follow.”
Volkswagen will offer Plug & Charge functionality, saving users time and frustration at fast-charging stations. In Europe, the ID. Buzz will send power back into the grid with bi-directional capability.
In addition to ID. Buzz and Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo variants, VW will sell two wheelbase options. North America will see the longer of the two (no dimensions yet from VW) and will get a 7-seat option, but both will offer the same 4,712mm overall length.
Sustainable Inside Boasts Innovative Materials
The van’s cabin will be leather-free for added sustainability. A polyurethane steering wheel provides a leather-like feel, but the seat covers, floor covering, and even headliner will all use recycled products.
Volkswagen will also use a fabric made of fibers containing 10% collected ocean plastics and 90% recycled plastic bottles. VW says it wants to cut carbon emissions by 40% per vehicle by 2030.
On the tech side, the ID. Buzz will have VW’s digital cockpit as standard. The size of that gauge screen matches the 10-inch standard infotainment unit, while a 12-inch navigation system will also be offered.
Volkswagen’s Latest Driver Assistance Tech
Standard driver assistance features will include front assist, lane assist, and dynamic road sign display. Volkswagen’s optional Travel Assist is a new element that can offer assisted lane changes at speeds above 55 mph and can still be used on roads with no center line marking.
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz will start production in the first half of this year, arriving for European customers in the third quarter. The long-wheelbase model for North America will debut in 2023 and go on sale in 2024.