When Volkswagen unveiled the ID. Buzz earlier this year, the Wolfsburg-based automaker promised it will launch the long wheel-base version of the electric Transporter in Europe in 2023. However, for North America, this won’t happen before 2024, which means they are about two full years away from seeing it on their side of the pond.
Work on the US-bound model, which will only be available there with a long wheel-base, has already started in Europe and we have the first spy photos with the vehicle.
What you see in the gallery below is an early mule of the ID. Buzz long wheelbase and it was caught by our photographers undergoing snow tests in Northern Europe. It is still wearing a body that is reminiscent of the VW T6 van – that’s something the brand did with the regular ID. Buzz – but we have no doubts this is indeed the longer version of the electric van.
Gallery: VW ID. Buzz LWB test mule spy photos
As you can see, the prototype is slightly longer than the ID. Buzz and the same length is expected to be carried over to the final production version of the LWB model. This will allow for up to three rows of seats to be installed, reportedly mounted on a rail system that will give them the freedom to rotate, swivel, and slide into different directions. Also, the extended wheelbase will unlock space for a larger battery pack, though nothing has been confirmed so far.
There have been reports that the ID. Buzz LWB could get a larger 111-kWh battery pack. The standard variant has a 77-kWh battery and it is believed an entry-level version with a 58-kWh (both net capacities) is also in the works. The larger battery could be available only for the longer version, which is expected to hit the US market at some point during the first half of 2024.
Volkswagen will first launch the ID. Buzz LWB in Europe next year, which probably means we will start seeing prototypes with production bodies very soon. Honestly, with the design of the electric bus already revealed officially, we are a little surprised that the automaker is using a mule for this new LWB model.