The new Volkswagen ID Buzz is an electric MPV (multiple purpose vehicle) that succeeds the iconic T2 campervan. It is considered a pre-campervan, as it does not yet have the features of a traditional campervan. The ID Buzz is designed with a focus on the future, featuring zero emissions and the use of recycled ocean plastics in some of its parts.
The ID. Buzz draws inspiration from the original VW Microbus, featuring bold and classic styling cues. The U.S. version is longer, measuring 192.4 inches compared to Europe’s model, providing a more spacious and flexible interior. It has a high driving position similar to an SUV, providing better visibility, and it is easy to park. The proportions of the vehicle are praised for their exquisite design, and it has a shiny and appealing exterior. Bystanders and onlookers are drawn to the ID Buzz, often approaching it and showing interest.
The interior of the ID Buzz, however, did not live up to the futuristic and innovative design of the concept car. The concept car had features like a folding steering wheel and swiveling front seats, reminiscent of a motorhome. However, these features did not make it into the final version, which comes with a more conventional minivan interior. Despite this, the final version still offers some impressive features. Buzz’s interior includes modern tech features such as ambient lighting, a large central touchscreen, wireless App-Connect technology, wireless device charging, and optional panoramic sunroof with electrochromic tinting. The second and third-row seats are configurable and can be adjusted or removed to increase cargo capacity.
The infotainment system has been streamlined, offering quick access to common functions and a reconfigurable home screen. Every ID. Buzz model will come with standard head-up display tech and Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capabilities, including automatic lane changing, road sign recognition, and remote-control parking.
The U.S. version of the ID. Buzz will feature a larger 91 kWh battery pack compared to Europe’s 82 kWh battery. On a full charge, the rear-wheel-drive model should offer a driving range of 260 miles. Whereas the all-wheel-drive version will offer a range of 252 miles.
The base, rear-wheel-drive ID. Buzz in the U.S. will deliver 282 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, an improvement over Europe’s 201 horsepower. Additionally, an all-wheel-drive variant with dual motors will be available, offering 330 horsepower.
One significant aspect of the ID Buzz is its role in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. It brings a new approach, as it caters to the needs of travelers, adventurers, and nomads. While previous vans, including the original Volkswagen Microbus, served these purposes, the ID Buzz and other electric vans now offer improved capabilities and are better equipped to serve these needs. The industry is shifting from hyper-efficient designs to a broader range of utility, targeting business users, larger families, and eventually enthusiasts in larger vehicle classes.
Moving towards the future of electric van life, predicting different waves of adoption will be important. Initially, wealthier individuals and influencers will be early adopters, followed by people who rent electric vans for recreational purposes. As prices for used vans decrease over time, van lifers with lower incomes will be able to afford electric vans. Eventually, electric vans may also serve as housing for the homeless population, providing a safer alternative to current vehicles.
The long-wheelbase version of the ID Buzz is predicted to be coming soon. It will probably offer more space, seating for up to seven people, and a larger luggage compartment. It should feature a new, larger 85 kWh battery, a heat pump for improved efficiency, and a powerful electric motor. The ID Buzz with a long wheelbase is praised for its versatility and ample cargo space, making it suitable for various uses, such as carrying paragliding equipment or transporting a football team.
The design of the ID Buzz maintains the iconic VW bus characteristics, including a V-shaped bonnet, LED headlights, and a rear end with a continuous LED tail light strip. It comes in different two-tone paint finishes, with a new combination of Mono Silver and Candy White for the long-wheelbase version.
The Volkswagen ID Buzz represents a significant milestone for the EV industry, offering a stylish and versatile electric vehicle that caters to the needs of travellers and adventurers. While it may not fully live up to the futuristic interior design of the concept car, it still offers appealing features and demonstrates the industry’s progress in serving diverse user needs.