After so many teases, the Volkswagen ID Buzz is finally here, and it retains much of the cuteness that endeared us to the original concept mini-van.
A five-year wait has ended, and Volkswagen has finally officially unwrapped the battery-powered ID Buzz. The unveiling took place during a virtual event on Wednesday, and it signaled a new era for the German automaker’s electric van ambitions.
The ID Buzz has consumer and commercial versions, with the latter known as the ID Buzz Cargo. However, probably as a nod to the bigger vehicles trend in North America, the version for the US market will feature a longer wheelbase. The European version has a wheelbase of 117.6 inches (2,988 mm) and an overall length of 185.5 inches, thanks partly to the short overhangs.
Europe will get the mini-van this year while buyers state-side will hang on to their wallets until 2024. There is no pricing info yet.
Volkswagen delightfully did not deviate much from the good-looking concept it showcased years ago. However, notable changes include larger air vents on the front grille and a boxier shape overall, featuring more defined angles.
And if you prefer the two-tone, Day-Glo lemon yellow color scheme that the concept had, it is among the 11 color options Volkswagen offers.
The Volkswagen ID Buzz may have an overload of cuteness, but it is a performer when and where it matters. A rear-axle-mounted electric motor produces 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. Apparently, the ID Buzz can go faster, but Volkswagen has limited the top speed to 90 mph (145 km/h).
The battery is rated 81 kWh, out of which 77 kWh is usable. There is no official estimated range at the moment, but we won’t be surprised if the ID Buzz gets about 300 miles per charge. Level 2 charging is limited to 11 kW, but if you find a fast charger, the mini-van can accept up to 170 kW, fast enough for a 5 to 80 percent charging time of 30 minutes.
Volkswagen says the ID Buzz will be updated with Plug and Charge, which allows an EV to authenticate and authorize itself when connected to a third-party charger.
The German company has a subsidiary that maintains public charging stations in North America and Europe, meaning finding a charge in public should not possess a problem.
Interestingly, the European version of the ID Buzz will come with bi-directional charging capabilities. These will allow you to draw power from the battery to run your electrical devices or even your home, like Ford and Tesla promise with their electric pickup trucks. Volkswagen even expects the ID Buzz to help balance the electrical grid during peak periods.
Inside, the mini-van is spacious, with the standard version coming with five seats, all of which are highly flexible and could be adjusted individually. The cargo version has an optional partition separating the driver from the rest of the vehicle.
There are two 10 inches screens for the instrument cluster and central console, but Volkswagen offers a larger 12 inches display as an upgrade. The van supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Volkswagen says there is not even an inch of leather in the interior, which uses recycled materials heavily.
Describing the ID Buzz, Jeffrey Lear, product manager, said, “The original transporter, or the bus, was obviously really loved, for not only its design, which was super iconic and still is to this day, but of course, also for its functionality and its spaciousness. So really nice packaging, super short overhangs, really low center of gravity, and the ID Buzz, thanks to our modular electric drive, is now able to tick off all of those same boxes.”