Volkswagen is finally ready to take the wraps off one of its most anticipated EVs. The Volkswagen ID.Buzz electric van will make its public debut March 9, VW CEO Herbert Diess tweeted Thursday, ending five years of buildup.
The original ID.Buzz concept was unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and drew positive attention for retro styling referencing the classic Volkswagen Type 2, also known the Microbus. VW confirmed plans for a production version shortly after the concept’s unveiling, and gave a peek at a cargo version in 2018. Argo AI is also using ID.Buzz prototypes for autonomous-driving development work, in anticipation of an autonomous mobility service launch in Hamburg, Germany, that’s tentatively scheduled for 2025.
Even before the initial ID.Buzz concept was unveiled, VW teased the idea of a new Microbus with a few other concept vehicles, including the 2001 Microbus concept, the 2011 Bulli concept, and the electric Budd-e from 2016. So you could say appetites for a 21st-century version of the iconic hippie chariot have been well and truly whetted.
We won’t have full details on the ID.Buzz production model until its reveal, but a camouflaged prototype shown in November 2021 indicated that at least some of the original concept version’s styling had filtered through, albeit with quite a few changes. We also know the ID.Buzz will use the same MEB platform as the Volkswagen ID.4, the European-market VW ID.3 and ID.5, and the Audi Q4 E-Tron and Q4 E-Tron Sportback.
The MEB platform’s modular design, and the packaging flexibility of an electric powertrain, helped make the ID.Buzz possible. It gives VW the ability to easily place a different body over the same basic chassis, allowing designers to indulge in more niche models while carrying over most components from higher-volume vehicles. VW has shown some other interesting MEB-based concept cars like the ID.Buggy dune buggy, although that one likely won’t make it into production.
While the wait to see ID.Buzz in its final form is almost over, it may still be a while before the reborn Microbus arrives in the United States. Production at VW’s Hanover, Germany, commercial vehicle factory is expected to start later in 2022, with U.S. deliveries following in 2023.
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