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After what has felt like months of teasing and leaking, Volkswagen has finally pulled the cover off the ID. Buzz.
The glossy reveal, featuring Trainspotting and Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor, focused mainly on VW’s desire for us to see the ID. Buzz as a continuation of its iconic Microbus range, rather than a new beginning.
“The T1 – an icon of the 1950s – enabled people to gain mobility and freedom. With the ID. Buzz, we are transferring this T1 DNA to the present day and thus into the era of electric mobility,” says Jozef Kabaň, Head of Volkswagen Design.
Passenger and Cargo Variants
The ID. Buzz will feature both passenger and Cargo variants, helping businesses and consumers get around.
The ID. Buzz is based on the MEB platform – the basis for all of VW’s electric vehicles – but is the largest vehicle built on the platform to date.
However, the van is rear-wheel drive only and, thanks to the packaging of the electric powertrain, it can store around the same as VW’s T6.1 ICE van but fits around the same amount of cargo and is slightly shorter.
Similarly, the ID. Buzz can fit two Euro pallets and up to 1,000 kg on the roof. The turning circle, VW claims, is around 11 metres, similar to its much smaller Golf hatchback.
The Cargo version can be configured with a bench seat in the front or two regular seats, as well as a tailgate or double rear doors. Single or double sliding side doors are also available.
The MPV can fit five people and more than 1,000 litres of luggage.
VW was also keen to talk about the sustainable materials used throughout the ID. Buzz’s interior.
The seats, floor coverings, and headliner are all made from recycled plastic – around 90% from old bottles and 10% from marine plastics. The steering wheel, meanwhile, is made from polyurethane, rather than leather, but has the same “high-quality look” and a “similar feel.”
The ID. Buzz will be manufactured at VW’s commercial vehicles plant in Hannover. This means that it will be produced in a carbon-neutral facility. The German giant is also promising carbon-neutral shipping, as well.
Both ID. Buzz models feature a “Car2X” local warning system, which utilises signals from other vehicles and the transport infrastructure to spot hazards in real-time.
Similarly, front assist emergency braking is designed to spot hazards in front of the car, and in the MPV variant, lane assist technology is also used.
VW has also seen fit to add a new autonomous driving option. The so-called “Travel Assist with swarm data” facilitates partially automated driving across the entire speed range and, for the first time, assisted lane-changing on the motorway. A new “Memory Function” allows for automated parking on previously saved routes.
Powertrains and Charging
The ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo are launching across Europe with a 77 kWh battery and a 150 kW electric motor, mounted at the back and driving the rear axle.
The battery is located low down below the floor of the bus, offering a good weight distribution and a low centre of gravity.
The lithium-ion battery can be charged from wall boxes or public charging stations using 11 kW AC chargers. Using a CCS plug connector at a DC rapid-charging station, however, the charging power increases to as much as 170 kW. When charged in this way, the battery charge level rises from 5 to 80% in about 30 minutes.
The ID. Buzz will also get VW’s new “Plug & Charge” function in the future. This will allow the van to authenticate itself as compatible with DC rapid charging stations.
Bi-directional charging will also let drivers feed unnecessary energy from the battery into their homes via a special DC wall box.
ID. Buzz Pricing and Availability
European pre-sales for both models will start in May but the vans won’t hit the road until the autumn.
American customers will have to wait a bit longer to find out when they can re-live the summer of love in the iconic VW van.