By on January 18, 2017

volkswagen i.d. buzz concept

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]

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33 Comments on “Reborn Volkswagen Microbus Headed to Production: Report...”

  • avatar

    I hope so, because we’ll be waiting at the dealership with our deposit in hand.

  • avatar

    2022…. close enough to seem reasonable, just long enough for us to forget about.

  • avatar

    “We all live in a Yellow Microbus…”

    • 0 avatar

      Look at the bright side. Marijuana should be legal in about half the states by that time.

      • 0 avatar

        Growing evidence of cannabidiol’s (CBD) excellent performance for true medicinal purposes and without any psychoactivity may slow the stoners’ legal choo-choo a mite.

        • 0 avatar

          CBD appears to work better with a smidgen of THC.

          The medical community (at least in Canada) has returned to using the original term Cannabis. It was the original name for the plant and was medicinally available in the USA in the early 1900’s. The Depression hit and the populace wanted someone to blame.
          “The Great Depression had just hit the United States, and Americans were searching for someone to blame. Due to the influx of immigrants (particularly in the South) and the rise of suggestive jazz music, many white Americans began to treat cannabis (and, arguably, the Blacks and Mexican immigrants who consumed it) as a foreign substance used to corrupt the minds and bodies of low-class individuals.”

          “Harry Anslinger:
          It would not be an overstatement to say that Harry Anslinger was one of the primary individuals responsible for creating the stigma surrounding cannabis. Hired as the first director of the recently created Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, Anslinger launched a vigilant campaign against cannabis that would hold steady for the three decades he remained in office.
          A very outspoken man, Anslinger used the recent development of the movie theater to spread messages that racialized the plant for white audiences. In one documented incident, Anslinger testified before Congress, explaining:
          “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”
          In another statement, Anslinger articulated: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” ”

          Looks like history is repeating itself but without the Depression and illegal cannabis.

  • avatar

    In the meantime can we just have the T6 California? I can’t stunt my kids growth till 2022.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Wait until people see the Phaeton-like price this vehicle gets.

  • avatar

    It clearly needs more external LED illumination.

  • avatar

    People usually buy this size of vehicle as their trip car. Pure electric vehicles don’t make good trip cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      Just tow a diesel generator behind it.

    • 0 avatar

      Eh, the likely purchaser of this flies out on vacation and this is perfect for carting the kids around the city/suburbs and plugging in at night, avoiding the hassle of ever gassing up. This is really just a more practical Model X with some nostalgia thrown in for good measure. I see 5-10 model X’s every day in my short commute so I it would do fine in these parts (greater Seattle).

    • 0 avatar

      If they use Porsches 800v charging system and “if” there is a decent network of those chargers in 2022, it actually might be a good long distance machine. With 300 mile range and 10-minute charging, why not?

  • avatar

    Even if built, sales will be YUGE for about 18 months, than non-existent with no path for a significant redesign – like every other retro vehicle (except the Mustang and MAYBE the Challenger) auto makers have attempted before.

  • avatar

    Five years from now? I thought this thing was supposed to be ‘near production ready’. Like, two years at the most.

  • avatar

    I know Microbus and this, sir, is no Microbus. I’ve owned three Type 2’s and a Vanagon. All were purchased because they were “Ace of Base” models. Cheap to own. Easy to pull out the seats and use as a pickup – I pulled the second and third seats out of one and carried a half-yard of topsoil in it a couple times. Cleaned right up, seats back in, done. All made it over 100k miles and only one ever went back to the stealership for repair (clutch replacement). Great for hauling my spawn over vast distances (San Diego to Michoacan one year) in relative comfort if not style. This is another pull of the heartstrings for aging boomers with disposable income dollars and zero sense and, similar to the New Beetle – a “Hey, Looky at what I got!” kinda vehicle. It will sell for the first six to eight months before withering and dying on the vine.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      You’re right, although theoretically an EV is simpler and less failure-prone than an ICE.

      But there really isn’t a place for a car like the Microbus in modern America. It would purely be a statement car. Which is okay, if you ask me.

      • 0 avatar

        It would make a good substitute for xovers and SUVs for families with multiple kids. It would be a minivan without the stigma (I never thought minivans deserved stigma).

        But unless electron stations start popping up like mushrooms, these aren’t going to be very good for cross-country trips.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I mean, the Microbus is sort of a case of “Build It, and They Will Come”. I think VW could *probably* sustain reasonable interest and demand if they built it; however, it might not be reasonable if they have to engineer a one-off platform for a rear-engined or cab-forward vehicle (and before you say 911 platform…no). But with an EV-style skateboard, wherein all of the powerplant packaging is under the floor, allowing for a multitude of different bodies…this could really tip the scales in favor of VW actually making it.

  • avatar

    VW as a company is really based on 3 good ideas only: (1) VW Beetle; (2) VW Bus; (3) VW Golf.

  • avatar

    This just doesn’t quite do it. I think it needs a minor face lift with round led headlamps. Then, after a couple of years and when sales cool, they stick a bland Volkswagen Golf-style front end on it, sort of like what they did with the Routan.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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