Volkswagen ID. Buzz is the Reborn Microbus You’ve Craved!

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After teasing us with microbus concept after concept for more than twenty years, Volkswagen has finally done it. The hotly anticipated ID. Buzz is here, and it’s a pitch-perfect redesign of the original Type II microbus – but, is it everything it needs to be to make you love it?

The first part of answering that question is understanding where you are, and what you’re going to use your ID. Buzz for. If you’re in the US – yours isn’t quite ready, yet (and we still don’t know the price). That car will be released in a few months, and is expected to carry different specs and, likely, focus more on a consumer version and/or a California-style camper. What we have here, then, is the European version(s) of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz. But don’t fret, they’ll teach us a lot.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo

VW ID. Buzz Electric Cargo Van
ID. Buzz Cargo, looking sharp! Courtesy VW.
VW ID. Buzz Electric Cargo Van
ID. Buzz Cargo, straightforward interior. Courtesy VW.
VW ID. Buzz Electric Cargo Van
ID. Buzz Cargo, tons of space! Courtesy VW.

Volkswagen is calling the ID. Buzz Cargo, “an ultra-modern zero-tailpipe emission van.” The ID. Buzz Cargo will launch with three-across front seating in the cab as standard (dual bucket seats will be an option). Behind the seats will be a fixed partition to the cargo space that will be available with a window and slide-opening for loading longer items. The cargo space measures 3.9 cubic meters (a massive 137.7 cu ft), and provide room for two “standard” (Euro) pallets. Loads can be secured to tie-downs in the floor or bars on the side walls.

Other key differences will be a more spartan, durable interior in a more matte finish to hide scuffs and be easier to clean. The transmission will be operated via a steering column stalk, and two USB-C plugs and a tray for wireless charging (wireless App-Connect is also standard) will help keep drivers connected.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has developed an optional movable/removable center console specifically for the ID. Buzz. The idea for this multifunction box was derived from the Detroit concept car, and it it provides storage bins (in the case of the Cargo a cup holder), a 1.4-liter (1.5 quart) flip-lid compartment (e.g. for a water bottle), and a 5-liter (1.3 gallon) drawer to accommodate tablets or laptops. In the two-seat Cargo (with the bucket seats mentioned previously), the center console is latched in place between the driver’s seat.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz (Consumer)

VW ID. Buzz
High-end finish and two-tone options, courtesy VW.
Upscale interior, courtesy VW.
Optional interior shown, courtesy VW.

Both versions of the ID. Buzz pack a high-voltage lithium-ion battery that provides a “gross energy content” of 82 kWh (77 kWh net), and sends power to a 201 horsepower electric motor that drives the rear axle (just like the original!). Maximum torque of 229 lb-ft is instantly available, of course, and the top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph. Charging power on AC (at home) is 11 kW, with DC fast-charging at 170 kW. With DC-fast charging, the battery charge level rises from 5 to 80 percent in just 30 minutes (though 80% of what remains to be seen, as driving range isn’t mentioned).

For their part, VW seems to think they have a winner. “The T1 – an icon of the 1950s – represents freedom and the democratization of mobility. With the ID. Buzz, we are transferring the T1 DNA to the present day and thus into the era of electric mobility and sustainability”, says Jozef Kabaň, Head of Volkswagen Design. “We very consciously ensured that we were not making another T1. The ID. Buzz shows that it is successfully transferring the genes and stylistic elements of that iconic vehicle into the digital era.”

As for me? I’m not sold. I love the clever camper bits, sure – but the thought of paying $60,000 for a van, electric or otherwise, doesn’t get me overly excited. What do you guys think? Is the nostalgia worth the potential price hike, or is this new Volkswagen going to come in way cheaper than the rumors? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know!


Source | Images: VW.

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