Volkswagen's newest concept is inspired by one of its most iconic classics

Volkswagen ID 2 concept
Volkswagen has released three teaser images that preview a brand-new concept. The yet-unnamed design study is scheduled to make its official debut early next month at the Detroit Auto Show.

The Wolfsburg-based company refers to the concept as a member of the I.D. family, which indicates it’s a follow-up to the original I.D. that broke cover a few months ago during the Paris Auto Show. It takes the form of a tall, boxy van whose design is heavily inspired by the original, rear-engined Bus introduced in 1950.

The idea of a modern-day Volkswagen Bus isn’t new. The Microbus concept introduced at the 2001 Geneva show and the Budd-e shown earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) both illustrated what the 21st-century Bus could look like. However, the new I.D. concept takes the heritage-laced design a step further by adopting styling cues such as chromed trim on the belt line that ends in a V on the front fascia, and tall quarter windows integrated into the front doors. Designers stopped short of giving the concept a split windshield and round headlights.

The retro treatment is only skin deep. The Bus rides on the same modular MEB platform as the original I.D. concept, and it’s powered by an electric motor mounted over the rear axle. A large, high-capacity battery pack directly integrated into the chassis aims to make range anxiety an issue of the past, though full technical details are still under wraps for the time being.

The I.D. concept was designed with autonomous driving in mind. The steering wheel retracts into the dash at the simple push of the Volkswagen logo, and the driver becomes a passenger as the task of driving is delegated to laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors, and cameras that scope out the road ahead.

More information about Volkswagen’s second I.D. concept will trickle out over the coming weeks. While it’s billed as merely a concept, an earlier report claims a modern-day Bus powered by an electric drivetrain could join the Volkswagen catalog in 2021, about a year after the production version of the original I.D. concept lands in showrooms.

In Detroit, the second I.D. concept will share the spotlight with the new, second-generation Tiguan crossover.

Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Cars

The 8-seat, 3-row 2020 Telluride SUV is the biggest Kia ever

It's fitting that the 2020 Kia Telluride debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, as it was built specifically to meet U.S. buyers' insatiable demand for SUVs. Kia packed the eight-seat cabin with family-friendly tech as well.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.