Volkswagen recently unveiled the three-row ID. Buzz in Huntington Beach, California, the manufacturer announced.
Paying homage to the iconic Volkswagen Microbus, the three-row ID. Buzz has been tailored specifically for North America, the company said. It offers a longer wheelbase than the two-row European vehicle that debuted in 2022, plus a bigger battery and more horsepower. Retro design cues—like the oversized VW logo, short overhangs, and available two-tone color palette—meet a tailored interior, EV technology, and advanced driver assistance features, the company said, and is planned for sale in the North American market starting in 2024.
“The zero-direct emission ID. Buzz is the spiritual reincarnation of the Microbus, reimagined for our electric future,” said Pablo Di Si, President and CEO of Volkswagen of America, Inc. “It is practical, sustainable, and packaged in an unmistakably fun way that is classic Volkswagen. With its launch, the Bus will once again become our brand hero in America.”
Just as with the original Bus, the three-row ID. Buzz has a rear-mounted powerplant as standard. The rear motor produces 282 hp, in comparison to the two-row European-spec model, which debuted with 201 hp. The battery is also larger at 91 kWh (gross), compared with the two-row model’s 82 kWh battery. The skateboard design—with the battery mounted in the floor—not only saves space, but also contributes to better handling, VW designers said. All-wheel drive is available for the three-row ID. Buzz at launch, with about 330 hp and dual motors. Like all current modular electric drive (MEB) vehicles, the Buzz uses a multi-link rear suspension and struts at the front.
The new APP550 rear-mounted motor is a PMS (permanent magnet synchronous) design with a maximum torque of 406 pound-feet, packaged with the one-speed transmission and a new inverter (power and control electronics). The new electric motor of the ID. Buzz increases the top speed to an electronically limited 99 mph, up from the two-row’s 90 mph, the company said.
Outside, the ID. Buzz retains its traditionally boxy shape with short overhangs. It is 192.4 inches in length, nearly 10 inches longer than the two-row Buzz; all that additional length comes from a 127.5-inch wheelbase, versus 117.6 inches for the two-row. It is 77.9 inches wide and 74.6 inches tall, making it roughly as wide as an Atlas, but five inches taller, Volkswagen said.
Retro cues throughout are a throwback to the original Bus, designers said. The iconic oversized VW logo is illuminated, with a light line that extends to either side, connecting to the LED headlights. Exterior colors, with an available two-tone color palette, include many found on the two-row ID. Buzz—Energetic Orange, Pomelo Yellow and Mahi Green, for example. Others, such as Cabana Blue, Metro Silver, and Indium Grey, are all-new.
Dual power-sliding rear doors with Easy Open and Close provide access to the third row and are replete with a modern take on the classic sliding windows—also fully powered, the company said. The Buzz also features standard power-folding and heated side mirrors, plus a standard power tailgate with Easy Open and Close, proximity unlocking and keyless entry, and illuminated door handles. On the D-pillar, air “vents” recall the original Bus’s rear-engine cooling slots. The aerodynamically optimized 20-inch wheels are a full four inches larger in diameter than a 1950 T2 model’s.
Inside features include a retro-inspired wood-optic dash and Play and Pause pedals from the 2016 BUZZ concept, to Buzz easter eggs scattered throughout the vehicle, the company said. The removable center console includes flexible storage on top, with two dividers that double as a bottle opener and ice scraper, as well as two additional compartments below.
Three interior color and trim choices are available. A dark brown and black combination includes dark brown leatherette seats with white piping, blue door inserts and a dark wood-look dash, paired with black headliner and décor pieces. A light grey and clay combination pairs light grey leatherette seats with clay-colored piping, clay door inserts, a light wood-look dash, and light grey décor pieces. The final combination offers light brown leatherette seats with yellow piping, light grey door inserts and a washed wood-look dash, paired with black.
Ambient lighting with 30 colors is standard, and allows drivers to select from five preset moods, or choose to different areas individually. A panoramic glass sunroof with electrochromic tinting is available. The sunroof is 67.4 inches long and 40.8 inches wide.
In addition to full perforated leatherette seating, all Buzz models are equipped with standard 12-way power driver and passenger seats with dual armrests, ventilation, massage, and memory functions; front seats and outboard second-row seats are heated. Standard Climatronic automatic climate control keeps the cabin comfortable no matter the season, and all three rows have dedicated air vents. Second- and third-row windows are tinted for privacy, helping to maintain the interior temperature. The second-row seats can be folded down in a 60:40 split and the seat backs can be raked by 16 degrees. In addition, the bench can be moved fore and aft by up to 7.9 inches, and it can be moved forward by 4 inches.
A heated steering wheel and heated windshield washer nozzles are standard, while a heated windshield is also available. Seating for seven is standard, and captain’s chairs are available, with seating for six. The second and third rows fold flat, and the third row can be removed entirely. An available Flexboard, with two fabric storage bins, creates a flat floor with the seats folded. Nine speakers are standard while a Harman Kardon premium audio system with 14 speakers is available.
In the cockpit, drivers are presented with a 5.3-inch ID. Cockpit, which sits behind the steering wheel with key information, and the 12.9-inch central infotainment display. It features standard wireless App-Connect, wireless charging, plus eight USB-C ports throughout the vehicle, a 110V outlet under the passenger seat, and 12-volt charging in the cargo area.
The touch sliders for volume and temperature are illuminated. The infotainment screen has the climate functions integrated in the bottom of the display, allowing immediate access to these functions.
The Buzz also comes with the ID. Light system—a light strip that runs below the windshield and provides the driver with intuitive support. It uses various light pulses to signal status such as readiness to drive, turn instructions from the navigation system, brake prompts from driver-assistance systems, and incoming phone calls. When using voice commands, it signals that it is listening, similar to voice-activation on mobile phones or virtual assistants. When the ID. Buzz is plugged in to charge, the ID. Light indicates the current level of charge.