*See images in the photo gallery below
Volkswagen (VW) at the Detroit Show earlier this year showed the I.D. BUZZ concept van, a fully electric vehicle that taps in to the spirit and vibe that made the VW Microbus such an iconic vehicle.
Now, VW has made the decision to put the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ concept car into production for the North American region.
The VW I.D. BUZZ will arrive at dealerships in 2022.
Just like the concept car that was shown in Detroit, the production model will also have its batteries mounted in the vehicle floor. Since the electric drive components—electric motor, power electronics, and such—don't take up much space, the vehicle has a long wheelbase with short overhangs, allowing for a massively spacious interior and great proportions, according to VW.
The I.D. BUZZ will also be created with freight needs in mind.
"Along with a minibus version, we'll also be offering an I.D. BUZZ CARGO variant for zero-emissions delivery of goods,” said Eckhard Scholz, VW commercial vehicles CEO. "With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities."
The I.D. Buzz is the second EV concept that VW has revealed for production, along with the original I.D. concept slated to enter production around 2019 as a 2020 model, while the I.D. Crozz concept has shown how an electric VW SUV could look. All three use VW’s Modular Electric Drive kit, a group of components and chassis parts engineered to maximize the potential of electric drive and future technology, according to VW.
Designed to recall the original Type 1 Microbus without mimicking it, the I.D. Buzz concept has won several awards in the months since it was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show. The front V in the bodywork calls back to the two-tone predecessor on the original Bus, but in the I.D. Buzz carries a light strip that surrounds the vehicle and gives it a unique visual signature, according to VW.
The LED headlights have hexagonal segments that act as eyes to communicate the vehicle’s status. With near-zero body overhangs and 22-inch wheels, the I.D. Buzz manages to look modern and timeless, one of the hallmarks of Volkswagen brand design, according to VW.
The I.D. Buzz concept sports 369 horsepower from electric motors on each axle that also provide all wheel drive and the 111 kWh battery pack in the floor of the MEB chassis provide nearly 300 miles of estimated range. Using a VW fast-charge system, the it can recharge about 80 percent of its energy capacity in 30 minutes at 150 kW.
The vehicle can seat eight people with ease, and hold up to 162.5 cubic feet of cargo when the seats are folded or removed—the space of a full-size SUV on the footprint of a typical mid-size SUV. There’s even a front trunk, just like the original VW Beetle.
The I.D. Buzz concept also offers a preview of the type of autonomous technology that VW will develop for future models, namely its fully automated I.D. Pilot mode that could go into production by 2025. From the fold-away steering wheel and pop-up laser scanners in the roof to a heads-up display that integrates augmented reality, the I.D. Buzz does not lack for innovation.