After years of teasing the public with electric vehicle concepts like the Bulli and Budd-e, Volkswagen finally revives the shape of the Type 2 Microbus for the ID. Buzz. It goes into production in 2022, joining a growing lineup of emissions-free models. While a lot of the precise details are still a mystery, recent information provides plenty of evidence of what to expect from the return of the famous silhouette.
What Powertrain Will The ID. Buzz Have?
VW is still keeping the exact info about the ID. Buzz's electric motors and batteries a secret, but the previews for the vehicle offer some hints. For example, the ID. Buzz Cargo concept produces 201 bhp (150 kilowatts) from a rear-mounted motor. It can support battery packs with capacities from 48 to 111 kilowatt-hours. This would allow a maximum range of 342 miles (550 kilometres) in the WLTP test.
Gallery: VW ID. Buzz spy photos with little camouflage
An all-wheel-drive variant is allegedly on the way. With an electric motor turning the front axle, the total output would grow to around 402 bhp (300 kW).
A rumour also suggests that a roof-mounted solar panel would be an option. The tech would allow for a small amount of charging the battery to add some range without plugging it in.
What Will The ID. Buzz Look Like?
The comparison above shows the newly released image on the left and the concept on the right. In terms of just the shape, the original show car has slightly more curves in its shape, versus the blunter nose and boxier rear for the production version.
In Europe, VW will offer the ID. Buzz in multiple variants, including short- and long-wheelbase lengths. There will be a standard passenger version and a model with a higher occupant capacity that the company will market towards taxi companies and ridesharing services. A commercial cargo van will also be part of the lineup.
Americans reportedly will get just one choice. It will be the mainstream, three-row passenger van version but will still have neat features like seats that swivel so that the occupants can look at each other.
Starting in 2021, VW began testing the ID. Buzz using the production body, rather than hiding it under a modified Transporter test mule. This has provided lots of chances to see the lightly camouflaged van in development.
Gallery: VW ID Buzz New Spy Photos
What Kind Of Tech Will The ID. Buzz Have?
Spy shots (below) show us that the ID. Buzz will have a high-tech cabin with a layout that is reminiscent of the ID.4. The driver looks at a small instrument display, and a nub on its left functions as the gear selector. The infotainment screen appears to float in front of the dashboard.
At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, VW announced a partnership with Nvidia to incorporate the tech company's artificial intelligence system into the ID. Buzz. The vehicle can allegedly recognise the owner and automatically unlock the doors. Also, there is voice and gesture recognition.
VW has shown two concepts for the ID. Buzz with autonomous driving capability, including one that was an ambulance. Spy shots showed the company testing a real-world version, too. It's not clear whether VW actually intends to build a consumer version of this self-driving ID. Buzz, but a one-off or limited-run technology demonstrator seems possible.
When Will We See The ID. Buzz?
The VW ID. Buzz will debut in Europe in 2022. However, Americans will have to be patient and wait until the latter part of 2023 for the van to arrive as a 2024 model year product.
How Much Will The ID. Buzz Cost?
Pricing for the ID. Buzz is still a mystery. For reference, the rear-drive ID.4 starts at £34,995. Getting all-wheel drive takes the figure to £49,025. Given its larger size, we expect the upcoming, electric van to be a bit more expensive.