Dear God, Please Let the I.D. Buzz Copy the Volkswagen California's Interior

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
dear god please let the i d buzz copy the volkswagen californias interior

While the United States seems intent on pushing vans into the work-vehicle category, Europe continues to enjoy them for leisure activities. That’s a shame because there’s a chance some of that interesting van culture would have trickled over the ocean were it not for the chicken tax and unwarranted prejudice.

Volkswagen has several such lifestyle units, with the California being arguably the best in its fleet. Funnily enough, the model isn’t sold in California — nor anywhere else in the U.S. — but a recent update could hint at the direction VW will be taking with the I.D. Buzz. Based on the Transporter and outfitted as a camper van, the California is the true spiritual successor to the microbus. It can certainly trace its linage back to the Type 2 via the Transporter, while its motorhome amenities and optional paint schemes help to finish the job.

Last last week, VW unveiled the Grand California. Effectively a jumbo-sized version of the original, the model stuffs in more camper-friendly features an the promise of a cross-country adventure. It even comes with a fully functional bathroom, for Christ’s sake.

However, as I was swooning over the German brand’s tribute to that sweet van life, I noticed the press photos featured a shot next to the standard California. It was decked out in a two-tone paint scheme that made me genuinely hopeful that the Buzz wouldn’t be butchered into a completely vanilla family hauler. We’ve seen the concept wearing bright, contrasting hues without any assurance that Volkswagen would stick with it once production time came. But the California seems like a good omen.

Since the California isn’t sold here, the model is usually off my radar. I don’t keep close tabs on it, as there’s no good reason to get worked up over a vehicle I’ll never have the opportunity to own. However, the Buzz is coming to America and it’s supposed to be a passenger van as well as a lifestyle vehicle — just like the Type 2 used to be.

VW has repeatedly mentioned how the MEB platform allows the electrified van to have a totally flat floor. That’s code for “we can fill it with crap.”

What kind of additions can we expect to the cabin? Based on the preview images of the concept, adjustable seats are probably a given and a collapsable table with some unique storage options are also likely. But the Buzz’s smaller size nullifies its ability to become a full-blown mobile home. We don’t expect VW to be chucking in dishwashers or bathrooms. However, the manufacturer (or an aftermarket company) could easily toss a pop top on the e-van for upright standing or improvised sleeping arrangements.

The commercial-airplane interior of the Grand California is a little too ambitious for the Buzz, but it certainly whets the appetite of hungry van enthusiasts. Hopefully, VW does this one right and realizes that the Buzz isn’t getting all this attention just because it’s an electric vehicle. It’s the customizability of the platform and Volkswagen’s promise of fun and adventure that’s getting so many of us excited.

[Images: Volkswagen Group]

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2 of 17 comments
  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Aug 13, 2018

    These vehicles are good arguments for consistent safety standards across continents. I should be able to special order one of these if VW chose not to directly offer them to dealers, but because of reasons (?), I can't. Can someone enlighten me as to the differences between NCAP standards and those here in the US?

  • TimK TimK on Aug 20, 2018

    And the average garage continues to shrink in area and door height. These might make sense for the few that own dedicated RV spaces or those that can afford to store the vehicle when it's not in use. For everyone else it sits in a driveway or siding, cooking and deteriorating in the sun. Perhaps they might find a market in RV rental services.

  • Analoggrotto Over the years GM has shown a keen interest in focusing their attention and development money on large, expensive or specialized vehicles and little to no progress in developing something excellent to complete with such class leaders as : Camry, Telluride, Civic, CR-V, Highlander, Accord, or even ho hum Corolla. And this is the way class division works in the heartland/rustbelt: pretend to care for the common man but cater the public resources to additional security and comfort for the upper echelons of society. GM is Elitist American Communism.
  • Art Vandelay Current Fiesta ST
  • Jeff S Buick Lacrosse and Chevy Montana compact pickup.
  • SCE to AUX Demand isn't the problem; expenses and cash are. With under $4 billion cash on hand, the whole thing could sink quickly. Lucid has a 'now' problem.In contrast, Rivian has $12 billion cash on hand and has moved a lot more vehicles, but they are pretty extended by building a second plant. Rivian has a 'tomorrow' problem.Going up the food chain, Tesla has $22 billion cash on hand plus positive margins. No problems there.
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