By on July 18, 2018

I.D. Buzz Concept Volkswagen Microbus

In the wake of Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal, VW turned its attention to electric vehicles. Yup, EVs, and many, many crossovers. Can’t forget those.

At the time, building the brand’s future EVs in America seemed like the right thing to do — good PR, and good penance for its dirty crimes. The plan’s still a go, as VW’s Chattanooga assembly plant has plenty of excess capacity, but it’s now focused on two particular models.

Those models would be the most commodious of VW’s planned I.D. electric family: the I.D. Crozz (crossover) and I.D. Buzz (Microbus), due to launch after the I.D. hatchback. The latter model, not slated for sale in the U.S., makes its appearance next year as a 2020 model.

The Crozz and Buzz are definitely America-bound, and Chattanooga-bound, as well. Speaking to Autocar, Volkswagen’s North American boss, Hinrich Woebcken, said local production of these models is crucial.  They’ll also roll off the assembly line outfitted to appeal to U.S. buyers’ tastes, he added.

“For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the USA,” said North America boss Hinrich Woebcken. “It’s not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localise electric mobility in the US.”

The Crozz is expected to launch in the U.S. in 2020, with production of the Buzz (hopefully, these vehicle all gain new names) commencing in 2022.

Before any electric vehicle emerges into the Tennessee sunlight, VW first plans to add another crossover to its stable. As the automaker announced back in March, a shorter, sportier version of the three-row Atlas will appear in 2019, built alongside its larger sibling and the Passat. There’s no name pinned down for the new model just yet.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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18 Comments on “The Americanization of Volkswagen Won’t Skip Brand’s Electric Hippie Bus, Crossover...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I.D. Buzz…hippie chicks with long blonde hair, marinated in Patchouli…sorry, started heading down memory lane there for a minute.

  • avatar
    Hellenic Vanagon

    And, after that, and many years after, they may will be able to present a, back to the future, real car: the electric Vanagon, (or Syncro).

    Here you can see the 2007 U.S.A. edition:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yif6sPbbAR8

    The Syncro Heresy

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I like the idea of the Buzz as either a beach-goer or an effective daily driver, though I’m not certain about its interior dimensions. My concern would be more on where to charge it and how effectively it would charge. Down at my mother’s place, not an issue. I live in a townhouse and I’d have to get a bit… creative.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The pictures make the interior proportions look pretty similar to a minivan.

      The styling is different but, looking at the size of the sliding door and the look of the front seats, I bet the interior is pretty similar to every minivan I’ve ever owned.

      This is a good thing. Minivans are unparalleled in their comfort and utility. The only reason they aren’t more popular is because of the social signaling. VW may be the only company on Earth which can build a minivan which doesn’t look like one.

      Hopefully their EVs will be reliable and high quality. (My last VW, made almost two decades ago, was neither.)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I don’t recall VW ever once discussing the price of the Buzz. With a 100 kWh battery, it’ll be priced like a Model S or X, meaning $80k and up.

    This will not be your father’s Microbus. Consumers and reviewers alike will freak out, saying, “Wow, man, how can hippies can afford this on a pizza shop wage?”

    Seriously, I hope this isn’t Chattanooga’s only hope, because VW doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of producing/selling these in profitable volume.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    VW seems to putting a great many of its eggs into one basket.

    That said, I like the Buzz, but like SCE opined, it will be a flop if its priced out of the reach of those who would be interested. I realize it probably can’t be feasibly sold for Kia Soul prices, but that would be ideal.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @SCE to AUX:

      Assumptions, assumptions. Always assumptions.

      Let’s wait until finding out the pricing. Ok?

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Its called a “discussion”. Nobody stated it as absolute fact.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        OK, here are some statements from VW, followed by more assumptions:

        https://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-d-buzz-concept-review-first-drive/

        “The three different power packs are paired with three different battery sizes good for 60, 83, and 111 kWh.”
        “When the I.D. Buzz arrives in 2022, VW intends to sell it at a price north of $45,000.”

        Assumption #1: The 60 kWh version will be the $45k+ vehicle. That’s in line with a Model 3 or a Bolt EV, but since it’s shaped like a brick, it will have less range.

        Assumption #2: The 111 kWh version has more battery than any other EV. Tesla’s Model X 100 kWh SUV starts around $84k with no options. It stands to reason that 11% more battery will cost more, and options like AWD and other goodies will push prices over $100k.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Wouldn’t it be better to say, “I’m guessing the price will be…”?

          Battery prices are coming down. Yes, the 100kWh battery is Tesla’s most expensive battery but supposedly they are continuing to lower the per-kWh costs to where your guesses may be notably higher than the reality… or not. We don’t know and we won’t know. We can’t even know for sure their projected price for the Buzz will stay the same. Probably? Yes. Necessarily? No. In four years even Tesla’s Model 3 might drop below that $35K range, though I admit it’s doubtful. On the other hand, other cars are much more likely to rise to that price range, making the $45K price an approximate average, as $32K is today.

          And taking everything into consideration, will it really matter if the short-range battery on the Buzz is less than 200 miles? Electricity is, comparatively to gasoline, cheap for the performance levels it offers. We shouldn’t be comparing regular unleaded gasoline prices to the electric rates on BEVs, we should be comparing premium gasoline, or diesel prices, instead. That means that current per/mile costs vs an ICE equivalent come around to a 75% savings over the equivalent range in fuel costs.

  • avatar
    baconator

    “Crozz” and “Buzz” are such bad names. Is Johann de Nysschen running branding at VW now?

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Am I the only one who doesn’t want an “Americanized” VW?

    If I wanted an “Americanized” car, Honda does that just fine, and with fewer issues.

    The last VW that was truly appealing to me was the MkIV GTI. Fun car, but glad I sold it when I did – the second owners ended up with a CEL two years later that nobody could diagnose.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That’s why I bought a Civic instead of a Jetta.

      The Civic is almost perfectly suited to the brutal duty cycle we have for it: 110 miles of mostly highway driving in Midwestern weather.

      The Jetta TDI I once had just couldn’t stand up to the daily grind ,the way the Hondas we had in the family have. I was lucky for my transmission to last longer than an oil change in my Jetta.

      VW desperately needs to Americanize their products, if they want to sell to mainstream buyers in volume. Re-inventing the company after the diesel emissions cheating scandal is a good chance to re-examine everything. Maybe they will fix their problems…⁉️

  • avatar
    St.George

    I like the idea of a modernized VW camper that harks back to the 1960’s/70’s hippy thing. But:-

    1- No doubt it will be ridiculously expensive
    2- Will it get a decent crash rating with the forward driving position?

  • avatar
    darex

    If VW is pinning its hopes on either of these niche vehicles, they’re even more out-of-touch than I previously thought! And still, no Polo for YOU! ‍♂️

  • avatar
    USAFMech

    Help me Steph. “The latter model, not slated for sale in the U.S., makes its appearance next year as a 2020 model.

    The Crozz and Buzz are definitely America-bound, and Chattanooga-bound, as well.”

    The Buzz is not going on sale in the US, but it’s bound for the US, and Chattanooga? I can’t even.


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