Volkswagen’s ID.Buzz, an electric MPV-inspired by the brand’s famous microbus, has been teased in near-production form during the online launch of the new ID.5 earlier this week.
Debuted conceptually back in 2017, the rainbow-clad camouflaged model previewed featured noticeably taller sides, a larger windscreen, production-ready accoutrement like door handles, side mirrors and real headlights. Few details were released, Klaus Zellmer, member of the board for Sales, Marketing and After Sales at Volkswagen, stating only that the ID.Buzz was “an addition to [its] ID family” and was “accelerating the way to mobility – battery-electric mobility – on the Way to Zero.” The latter is a reference to VW’s ACCELERATE strategy and goal to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The microbus is set to arrive in production form in North America in 2023 ahead of a full launch in 2024. The North American example will be a long wheelbase passenger van, though further alternatives are expected to be made available in Europe.
Range estimates and drivetrains remain undisclosed at the moment – conceptual estimates of “up to 600 kilometres” back in 2017 are probably a bit too ambitious for production – although a single, rear-mounted electric motor offering around 200 horsepower and an optional, four-wheel-drive dual setup producing around 300 hp are speculated. The latter is based on the 2017 concept’s all-wheel-drive setup, which featured 150 kW electric motors on the front and rear axles, and produced an estimated, combined 369 hp. The battery pack at the heart of both the ID.4 and ID.5 are also expected to transition across to the ID.Buzz.
Revealed for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show in 2017, the ID.Buzz represented a major electrified step for VW, showcasing as it did the flexibility of the brand’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB XL) and the brand’s commitment to “e-mobility [as] the new trademark of Volkswagen”. Another notable element of the ID.Buzz concept was the self-driving system developed by Argo AI, with which VW hoped to introduce as a fully autonomous driving program for 2025.