By on January 6, 2022

I.D. Buzz Concept Volkswagen Microbus

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever, however, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has announced over social media that the 2024 ID.Buzz Microbus will be revealed on March 9th. After a few weeks of the manufacturer teasing new details of the all-electric van, Diess shared some concept sketches of the model on Thursday before confirming the exact date when “the legend returns.” 

The aptly named ID.Buzz received loads of media attention when VW indicated it wanted to build an all-electric van inspired by the Type 2 way back in 2017 and whipped up one hell of a concept as proof. Americans seemed particularly interested because the automaker had stopped selling the Transporter/Eurovan after the T5 and the older models — that were staples of the hippie movement — still hold a lot of cultural cachet. Sure, hindsight has taught us that the Greenwich Village and Haight-Ashbury crowd were posers. But the tunes were great and people cannot help but be drawn toward anything offering a sense of nostalgia, so everyone became outraged (author included) when it was rumored that the model might not make it into the United States — despite it having debuted in Detroit back when the North American International Auto Show still took place in a physical environment.

VW Microbus I.D. Buzz Concept

Delays seemed to be plaguing everything VW was producing that used batteries for a while. But the company announced it had partnered with the Qatar Investment Authority in 2019 to field a handful of autonomous variants. It also confirmed that the model would indeed be coming to America, with the successive year yielding news that it would be produced in both Hanover, Germany, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Based on the repeat delays of Volkswagen’s ID.4 and current-generation Golf, we’re lacking total confidence that Volkswagen will meet its desired production dates. However, the Buzz is supposed to launch in Europe later this year after the Hanover facility has been retooled, with deliveries allegedly commencing within the U.S. sometime in 2023. American citizens are also limited to the passenger-friendly long-wheelbase model, whereas Europeans also have the option of selecting the short wheelbase and commercial variants.

I.D. Buzz Concept Volkswagen Microbus

Built on VW’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform, the van is supposed to share a lot of hardware with the ID.4. While your author has yet to drive one, I’m constantly hearing people gripe about the automaker’s finicky touchscreen-focused interface that’s becoming all too common. Driving impressions are a bit more positive, however, and TTAC has a first-drive ready for your reading pleasure. But we don’t know if the neutral nature of the ID.4 will be transferred to the Microbus, only that the two should have a lot in common mechanically.

Range has been rumored to exceed what’s on 1st Edition ID.4s, due to the van offering room for a larger battery. We’ve heard roughly 300 miles per charge and two motor configurations offering either all-wheel drive (with dual motors) or rear-wheel drive (using a single hub).

The U.S. spec version should come with three rows of adjustable seating and lean heavily into retro-inspired exterior styling with the interior running with the future-minimalist theme. Though the test mules we’ve come across ultimately look more like the current VW Transporter than vintage Microbuses — which could be the work of some exceptionally clever camouflage. Whatever the case, we just hope Volkswagen eases off on the cheap-feeling plastic and nixes touch controls for some traditional buttons.

Pricing is estimated to start around the low $40,000 range to provide some financial distance from the ID.4. But that’s just a guess, as VW has yet to confirm much of anything other than the MEB platform, a few retro design cues, and the debut date.

[Images: Volkswagen Group]

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33 Comments on “Catch a Buzz: Volkswagen Microbus Debut Due in March...”

  • avatar
    Turbo Is Black Magic

    As a fairly die hard VW “enthusiast” let me be the first to say they are going to mess this thing up in probably the biggest way you can imagine.

    I have had a new top spec GTI as a daily for 4.5 generations, and after driving the MK8 I’m holding on to what I have now…

    • 0 avatar

      It would be hard, IMHO, to top what a turd the original was. I spent a lot of time in my best friend’s parent’s gutless, breakdown prone, POS VW van, and the best thing I can say about it was it wasn’t the worst of their cars. They had a run of bad car choices that made me wonder about their sanity. They had an MGB, a Triump TR4-A, the VW Van, and a Peugot of some kind that was wrecked and burned up. I only saw it twice, and both times it wasn’t running. That MGB famously died during a terrible winter storm, stranding my friend and his dad at our house most of the night while waiting for AAA to tow them home. My dad was kind of a fanatic about going to bed at 1am, but AAA didn’t show up until almost 5am, and he was all wound up after they left, because he “Had to go to work!” at 9am. No, he didn’t, when you are the owner/boss, you can just stay home, but he went to work on time, and was in a foul mood all day. That MGB burned “Lucas Electric = Pitiful” into my brain.

      • 0 avatar
        Turbo Is Black Magic

        Nostalgia is a hell of a drug, and tends to mask just how horrible cars from the past are. Never meet your heroes…. the first time I drove a classic GT350 Mustang made me realize this. Seems like once you reach the 90’s cars with fuel injection that changes though… a lot of those cars still feel modern, NSX was great, Viper GTS was stupid fun, Ferrari 355 with a tubi exhaust still might be one of the best sounding cars ever made. Even if it’s slower than an orange Supra.

        • 0 avatar

          That’s the thing here. I remember when the new beetle came out. It seems like it was bought up by every middle age woman who had an orginal bug back in thier youth. It worked right? People with money had nostalgia.

          That’s what I think is missing here. Who is still alive and open to buy this? My 70+ year old retired mother sure isn’t. I don’t understand the buyer demographic.

        • 0 avatar

          I’ve never driven a GT350 but most of the old cars I’ve experienced are okay even though I wouldn’t want to commute with them. The soft suspensions vehicles had before the late 1980s is probably the weirdest part.

          That’s said, unless you have a time machine you’ll be dealing with something that has 50+ years of age, tinkering, and “restoration” on it. If my current car is still on the road in 2060 I doubt it will feel the same as it did in 2019.

      • 0 avatar

        Before the big van life craze on youtube, about 10 years ago there were only 3 guys. They all had Westfalias and they ALL blew their engines up, usually in the middle of nowhere and had to spend a fortune getting them fixed. Now you never see people living out of westfalias, except one of those original 3 that did the subaru engine swap.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 on comments of “who is their target market”. I rode in these in the 60s. I wouldn’t consider one now: no kids at home, no “travel adventures” and no $$$ for something in the $40K Zone. I agree that the Beetles sold to nostalgia seekers, but few now have boththe itch and the “scratch” to scratch that itch. The VW van itself was a POS, and in addition to burning through engines with high speed freeway jaunts, there was no front crumple zone. One acquaintance’s husband found this out the hard way, when he ran his van into a stopped vehicle. I’m sure the new one improves on this, but after the filters of reality are applied, IDK who will buy this.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    The A-pillars (all 4 of them) are going to be really annoying to try to see around. That’s the big problem with having them so far out in front of the driver. And you can’t sit in front of the axle like in the good old days… thanks to Marxist regulators!

  • avatar

    Are you sure it’s March 9th? Those Yuropeans like to list day-month-year, so 3/09/22 could be three-September. Did they give themselves some wiggle room, using the slash line?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “After a few weeks of the manufacturer teasing new details of the all-electric van, Diess shared some concept sketches of the model on Thursday”

    Thinly-disguised pre-production cars have been photographed on Euro streets for months now. They look just like the concept.

    That $40k base estimate will be a unicorn, even if it’s true. A 300-mile vehicle shaped like a brick will be $60k, and journos will inevitably tell us that it’s not the same $3800 Bus your father bought in 1972.

  • avatar

    They’ve been talking about the return of this stupid this since George Bush was in office, literally. It’s been hyped up no ends and I can’t be bothered to care anymore.

    It will be a disappointment just like the overhyped Integra. Few companies can resurrect a nameplate and make it work well. The only example I can think of that’s worked recently is Maverick, and that’s unrelated to the old one.

  • avatar

    I guess they’re shootings for something less popular than the ID.4, of which I’ve seen exactly 4 on the road. There’s one that visits a house in my neighborhood, it was surprisingly small with very small windows and a low greenhouse, looks impractical with little usable interior space. And quite frankly I still wouldn’t touch of VW with their well earned reputation for crap quality and poor design. They need a class leading warranty to get people to take a chance.

  • avatar

    “Americans seemed particularly interested because the automaker had stopped selling the Transporter/Eurovan after the T5 and the older models were staples of the hippie movement that now looks to have been a mistake.”

    ummmm….dude, that’s not a sentence. The words are English, but….

  • avatar

    Finally. Gotta give Volkswagen credit, they managed to drag this one out long enough that, by comparison, GM’s extended reveal for the return of the Camaro (2005?) seemed to be over in a week an a half by comparison.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Gonna be a huge hit, what with minivans being white hot right now, you know?

    (Sarcasm, for those who didn’t grasp it)

    • 0 avatar

      If it’s good, it might take the Telluride off of the I-want-one-too list of the soccer moms and elementary school kid shuttlers.
      If it’s really good, it could make gasoline powered SUVs archaic and passe, and maybe bring back the minivan.
      Electric minivans would be much more practical than gas SUVs, anyway.

  • avatar

    Why on Earth did it take VW so long to reintroduce this, it just seemed like such an easy home run that no one got around do.

    A car based minivan platform that looked stylish and fun.

  • avatar

    I suddenly have the urge to go get excess groceries.

  • avatar

    I had a 1973 VW van back in 1976. It was a real dog and I scattered the engine driving 45 MPH on a country road in Connecticut. The van maybe had 40,000 miles on it when #3 cylinder swallowed a valve and the remnants of the valve and piston rings scattered to the other cylinders taking them out too. Junked the internals and saved the case. Rebuilt the engine and sold the van as fast as I could.

    Now at 78 years old, do you really think I am interested in one of these new vans? (Not the least bit)

  • avatar

    Guys, hear me out. What if this legit ushers in the era of the beginning of the end of crossovers, and the beginning of the beginning of Americans (once again) realizing that minivans really are the perfect vehicle for 99% of their needs. Am I being overly optimistic??

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Personally, I’m more interested in these guys:

      Although our large family has grown up and moved out, I still love our minivan for its utility and comfort.

      But even with hybrid minivans available now, they continue to lose popularity to pickups and crossovers.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I think this van is cool but I wonder how well it will sell especially in the US. I too would like to see a trend away from the big suvs. The market of aging hipsters who had a VW bus in their youth is declining as those hipsters are dying off. VW is going to have to market this bus to a new generation if they are going to have long term success. True there will be many sold the first year or two but after that it might fade. I like the van but I don’t like it enough to buy one.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Enough…VW has been teasing this for longer than GM teased the 5th Gen Camaro and Ford the Bronco.

  • avatar

    Will there be a diesel version?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Since it will be marketed and sold in Europe first it will most likely only be an EV especially with the Common Market countries eventually mandating EV sales only and phasing out production of new ICE.

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