Five years after the debut of its original concept, Volkswagen has now finally unveiled the production version of the ID. Buzz – the modern-day reincarnation of the iconic Microbus/Kombivan/Bulli, in electric form.
The ID. Buzz will be offered in two forms: the standard five-seater MPV, and a ID. Buzz Cargo commercial goods van. Both variants will begin deliveries in Autumn this year.
In terms of appearance, the production version of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz does not stray too far from the concept first shown in 2017, at least in terms of proportions, including the iconic short overhangs that were inspired by the original VW T1 Type 2.
There are, of course, the usual tweaks to make the concept production-ready, including actual air intakes up front, less futuristic lighting elements, and functioning wing mirrors instead of the cameras – the latter two to satisfy safety regulations in various countries.
Still, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz manages to capture most of the Microbus’ essence, and that is in part due to its MEB EV architecture, negating the need for a large engine compartment up front.
The MEB platform is also what gives the ID. Buzz its layout on the interior, with the skateboard-like architecture forming a flat floor to give it even more flexibility in terms of seating layout, while also ensuring ample legroom for the passengers and space for your cargo.
At launch, the passenger Volkswagen ID. Buzz will come with five seats and a massive 1,121 litres of cargo room at the back behind the tonneau covers. The Cargo variant meanwhile offers up to three seats in the front row, and 3.9 cubic metres of space at the back separated by a partition, enough for two European-sized pallets.
Volkswagen says that it will also be offering the passenger ID. Buzz with a six-seater option sometime down the line, with three seats in the front row, alongside a slightly longer wheelbase version.
As for the interior design, you’ll probably feel very familiar with the dashboard of the ID. Buzz if you’ve ever seen any of Volkswagen’s ID electric models. The most eye-catching detail are the two “free-floating tablets” displays; a 5.3-inch unit for the digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, and a 10-inch display in the centre for infotainment that can also be upgraded to a larger 12-inch option.
Below the centre display is where you’ll find a digital control bar where the climate control module and volume controls reside. As usual with all modern VWs, there’s no physical buttons here, just haptic touch-activated ones.
In line with a design that Volkswagen calls “the new face of a sustainable form of mobility”, the company also highlighted the use of sustainable material on the interior, made from vegan and recycled items ranging from recycled plastic bottles to Seaqual yarn made from marine plastics.
As for safety, the range-topping variant gets equipped with over 30 different advanced driver assistance systems, including Car2X communication, as well as the latest-generation of Travel Assist with swarm data, which aids partially automated driving over the vehicle’s entire speed range, including automated lane-changes at speeds of up to 90 km/h.
The all-new Volkswagen ID. Buzz is launched with a single powertrain option, with a single rear-mounted motor providing 204 hp and 310 Nm of torque. Feeding the electric motor is a 77 kWh battery pack located within the floor, which also gives the ID. Buzz “a comparatively low centre of gravity for a van of such tall stature”.
Volkswagen did not disclose any performance figures for the ID. Buzz just yet, including its driving range, but a comparably-configured ID.4 with a kerb weight of 2,109 kg does the century sprint in 8.5 seconds, and offers a range of roughly 520 km.
The 77 kWh supports DC fast charging of up to 170 kW, which means you’ll be able to recharge from 5-80% SoC in around 30 minutes. AC charging meanwhile is limited to 11 kW.
Other drivetrain options are planned to be introduced starting from next year, including a lower-powered rear-wheel drive option, and a dual-motor GTX performance version with 300 hp and 460 Nm, Autocar reports.