More details on the Volkswagen ID. Buzz have been revealed as the all-electric van inches closer toward its global debut. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is currently putting the vehicles through its final phase of preproduction testing with the fleet undergoing evaluations in everyday conditions in cities like Barcelona, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Hamburg. Inspired by the T1 Microbus, the ID. Buzz prototypes are now wearing their production bodies donning rainbow camouflage.
Like the vehicle that inspired it, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz has super short overhangs and aims to maximize space in a package that has a minimal footprint. The van will get a unique front fascia that will tie it to the rest of the ID lineup, which includes the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, and the Chinese market exclusive ID.6. At least in Europe, two versions will be available, the cargo van and a passenger variant, the latter of which seats up to five. Built on Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, the ID. Buzz will have the longest wheelbase of any vehicle on that architecture at 117.6 inches for the standard wheelbase model. In terms of length, it’s about the same as a typical compact crossover at 185.5 inches, which is only a couple of ticks longer than the ID.4. A long-wheelbase version will follow soon after the standard model. Inside, the passenger variant has up to 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats up, which is more than most crossovers with a similar exterior footprint as the ID. Buzz. Cargo variants will have up to 3.9 cubic meters (5.1 cubic yards) of space.
The ID. Buzz will share its powertrain with the ID.3, ID.4, and ID.5. Initially, it will only come with an 82-kWh lithium-ion battery (77 kWh usable) and a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle making 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the battery being mounted under the floor, the ID. Buzz has a low center of gravity. Top speed is limited to 90 mph. The van also has a tight turning radius of 35 feet thanks to its compact design. Official EPA range estimates won’t be available until closer to the ID. Buzz’s on-sale date but expect it to be slightly lower than the ID.4. An AWD version with a second electric motor mounted on the front axle should also be in the cards.
Volkswagen’s latest software will enable the ID. Buzz to support the Plug & Charge function. That means all you need to do to start DC charging is plug the vehicle in and it will automatically authenticate itself with the charging network. It will also get a new bidirectional charging feature that allows the vehicle to act as an energy storage system. This enables the ID. Buzz to take energy from sources like solar panels and then feed it to a home, turning the car into a backup generator during outages. Like the other ID models, the ID. Buzz can accept over-the-air (OTA) updates for everything from the infotainment system to the driver assistance features. The car will also launch with the latest version of Volkswagen’s Travel Assist semi-autonomous system, an automatic parking system, and the Car2X capability, the latter of which enables the car to get warnings regarding hazards and traffic conditions in your area.
Production of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz starts in the first half of this year before going on sale in Europe this fall. In the U.S., it will be offered only in long-wheelbase configuration and should arrive next year, possibly as a 2024 model, and could get a larger battery pack. Expect the passenger version to be the only one offered in North America. The van will make its North American debut at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, which runs from March 11 to March 20 this year.