Preview: 2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed as modern Microbus (2024)

Volkswagen's iconic Microbus has made a comeback, but it's now called the ID.Buzz. It's also fully electric.

Revealed on Wednesday, the ID.Buzz is the production version of a concept of the same name that we first saw in 2017. Yes, it's been a long wait, and U.S. fans will have to wait even longer.

Even though the ID.Buzz starts sales in Europe this fall, both in passenger and cargo guises, it will only reach U.S. showrooms in 2023, arriving as a 2024 model. The U.S. version will be slightly different to the ID.Buzz you see here. We'll get a longer wheelbase, and most likely the passenger version only. VW said U.S. specs will be announced closer to the market launch.

Though not mentioned during Wednesday's reveal, a version for camping is also coming. It will carry VW's California tag. A version for taxi services has also been confirmed. In fact, the ID.Buzz will even serve in a self-driving taxi service due to start in 2025. The service, which will initially run in Germany, will be run by Volkswagen Group's Moia mobility division using a self-driving system developed by Argo AI, which VW Group is a major shareholder of.

Preview: 2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed as modern Microbus (1)

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

The European ID.Buzz measures 185.5 inches in length, making it 13.4 inches shorter than a Tesla Model X. That might not seem long, but thanks to a design where the wheels are pushed to the corners, the wheelbase is a generous 117.6 inches, which is almost an inch longer than the wheelbase of the Model X. The turning circle is also a relatively tight 36.4 feet.

The long wheelbase results in generous space inside the cabin. There are only two rows, meaning five seats as standard though a two-row, six-seat configuration will be available at a later date. European buyers will also receive the long-wheelbase body style destined for the U.S., which will enable a three-row, seven-seat configuration. Storage space in the rear is up to 39.6 cubic feet thanks to rear seats with a 40:60 split.

The cargo version, aptly named the ID.Buzz Cargo, will launch with a single row containing three seats. Behind the seats will be a fixed partition that can be fitted with a window and an opening for loading longer items. Space in this model measures up to 137.7 cubic feet.

Underpinning the ID.Buzz is the flexible MEB dedicated EV platform already found in multiple VW Group vehicles, including VW's ID.4 already in U.S. showrooms. Just one configuration has been announced for the ID.Buzz at present (more will follow from 2023). It consists of an 82-kilowatt-hour battery in the floor and a single electric motor rated at 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. That motor will deliver a top speed of 90 mph. VW hasn't mentioned a range but did say that charging from 5-80% will take just 30 minutes using a DC fast charger. The automaker also said European versions will also enable bi-directional charging.

The design is modern, yet the retro influences are hard to ignore. For example, the VW logo on the front is much larger than on any current model, as a nod to the original Bus. There's also no missing the signature V-shaped motif up front, which has been stretched wide on the ID.Buzz.

Preview: 2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed as modern Microbus (5)

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Preview: 2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed as modern Microbus (6)

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Preview: 2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed as modern Microbus (7)

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Preview: 2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed as modern Microbus (8)

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

There are some special touches inside, too, like a stylized vehicle silhouette that is embossed in the lower side seat trim, and on fold-down tables located in the backs of the front seats, and there's also a steering column stalk that serves as the gear selector. The dash design is similar to what you find in other ID-badged models, including a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment screen both as standard. The infotainment screen can be swapped to a 12-inch unit. To the left of the steering wheel is a collection of physical buttons for key functions like the lights and for heating and defrosting the windshield and rear window.

As with other ID-badged models, the ID.Buzz features the ID.Light warning system. This is a thin LED strip stretching across the windshield that provides information via the color and position of the light signal. For example, a red glow is a warning to press the brakes, while a glow in either side can indicate a vehicle in the blind spot or a navigation instruction to change lanes.

Buyers will have some funky colors to choose from, including four two-tone options. They will also be able to choose from various wheel patterns measuring between 18 and 21 inches.

Production of the ID.Buzz is being handled at VW's plant in Hannover, Germany. This is the same plant where VW builds its T-series line of vans sold overseas. The T-series is actually the direct successor to the original Microbus and entered its seventh-generation last year.

Preview: 2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed as modern Microbus (2024)
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