Reborn Volkswagen Microbus Headed to Production: Report

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

If we’re to believe a source inside Volkswagen, 2022 could bring a latter-day Summer of Love.

The company’s latest Microbus concept — the eye-rollingly named I.D. Buzz — might not stay a concept for long, an insider claims, stirring hope in eco-conscious Germanophiles and fans of the original hippie wagon.

VW’s all-electric I.D. Buzz concept, which debuted at the North American International Auto Show, is in the running as a possible future model spawned from the company’s common EV architecture. The first model, the compact I.D. hatchback, is due out in 2020. More electric models should follow as VW pushes ahead with its long-term green car plan.

According to Automotive News Europe, the Buzz/Microbus concept has a strong supporter in the company’s upper echelons. VW brand chief Herbert Diess is reportedly a fan.

When prodded about the I.D. Buzz, a company source stated, “I know what you’re going to ask and the answer is 2022. Diess wants it.”

Now, before you quit your job, grow out your hair, stock up on tie-dyed shirts and dust off the Procol Harum LP, remember the plight of the on-again, off-again Microbus Concept of 2001, which finally bit the dust after years of production assurances from VW. That’s not to say that it won’t stick to its guns this time, but the passage of time has a way of changing a company’s plans. Five years can be an eternity.

However, if it does happen, the company’s dedicated EV platform and electric components would make for the truest recreation of the original Type 1 Microbus, as well as the greenest. Time will tell if the I.D. Buzz becomes another unrealized tangerine dream.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • JD-Shifty JD-Shifty on Jan 18, 2017

    the last type of vehicle I want to buy foreign would be a minivan.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 18, 2017

    Many of these retro rebirth vehicles rely on past nostalgia. The recent Beetle is a classic example. To me the new Beetle is a nothing vehicle. The new Mini is similar. Having grown up with Minis the new ones ate not like the old. Just let the Kombi rest in peace.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jan 19, 2017

      Unlike the original Beetle, the current one is pretty much the domain of women. I doubt that I've ever seen a guy drive one.

  • Marcr Marcr on Jan 19, 2017

    Instead of limiting it to a "retro" vehicle, it should have a unique and desirable configuration. Completely flat floor with 6 or 7 seats, sliding side door(s) and hatchback. Take a cue from the "Weekender" models, have the middle row face rearwards with a folding table between them and the the third row. All seats except driver's easily removable or fold out of the way. Forget the autonomous crap, de-content it to the point where the base model could be sold for a moderate premium over an ICE minivan. That would be the first VW I'd actually want to buy since the 90s, I doubt I'd be the only one.

  • OldManPants OldManPants on Jan 19, 2017

    The sheer pity of this is that the concept of an EV micro/minivan would powerfully spin my beanie if proposed by *anyone* but this rightfully if belatedly doomed relic of nazzy chicanery.