Groovy, Man: VW Formally Introduces ID. Buzz

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
groovy man vw formally introduces id buzz

After what seems like three eons and two epochs of concept vehicles, Volkswagen has finally taken the covers off a production-ready version of the ID. Buzz van. European models, of the type shown here, go on sale this calendar year with a long-wheelbase passenger model to debut for the North American market in 2023 and go on sale in 2024

And, yes, the word ‘bus’ does make it into the official press materials.

The new ID. Buzz is all-electric – because that’s the way life is these days. Initial versions will come to the European market with an 82 kWh lithium-ion battery (77 kWh net) powering an electric motor good for 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. This configuration means the ID. Buzz is only available in rear-wheel drive for now, though you can bet your tie-dyed shirts there will be a dual-motor variant at some point in the future. VW remains mum on this vehicle’s total driving range.

It’ll not escape your notice there are passenger and cargo variants scattered amongst these photos, both of which share identical dimensions for the European market. Specifically, it will be 76.3 inches high and 185.5 inches long on a 117.6-inch wheelbase and 78.1-inch overall body width. To put that in perspective, the Kia Carnival (a machine with which the ID. Buzz does not directly compete but is nevertheless also a vaguely boxed-shaped van) has a roof about six inches closer to the ground but is nearly a foot-and-a-half longer in total length. Width is roughly the same.

This would be a good time to remind readers that VW took pains to mention there will be a long-wheelbase passenger model coming to North America in a couple of years. Left unsaid is if that machine will supplement the short(er) wheelbase Euro van – car nuts will get that subtle reference – or if it will stand on its own merits. We are wagering the latter since the market for this type of rig is surely not big enough in this country to warrant a brace of all-electric retro vans.

Speaking of, while the ID. Buzz short overhangs and available two-tone color palette pay homage to the past, its high-tech interior trappings (and EV powertrain) look squarely into the future. There are five seats in the passenger variant at launch – three in cargo trim – with the aforementioned extended wheelbase version packing a seven-seat 2/3/2 configuration. A 10-inch Digital Cockpit display is paired with a 10-inch infotainment system along with a smattering of digital buttons and touch sliders. The transmission in this Euro version is operated via a steering column stalk but it remains to be seen if that will cross the pond. Active lighting is used for typical ambient purposes but is also tied into the navigation system, with certain parts of the lights advising of road obstructions or corresponding with a navigation instruction to change lanes. Like the gearshift, we’ll see if that makes it stateside.

The ID. Buzz is built on the company’s scalable Modular Electric Drive platform, a unit on which roughly 30 percent of all electric vehicles in the Volkswagen Group are already based. Company spox say that number will nearly triple in the next five years.

[Images: VW]

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4 of 38 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 10, 2022

    VW? I need to know more about the headliner.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 10, 2022

    I actually like this VW bus but I have no interest or need for a van.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 10, 2022

      @la834 True many people buy vehicles they don't need. That is why advertising and marketing is so successful at convincing people to buy things they don't need. I do like the retro vibe of the ID. Buzz.

  • 56m65711446 Well, I had a suburban auto repair shop in those days.
  • Dukeisduke Yikes - reading the recall info from NHTSA, this sounds like the Hyundai/Kia 2.4l Theta II "engine fire" recall, since it involves an engine block or oil pan "breach", so basically, throwing a rod:"Description of the Safety Risk : Engine oil and/or fuel vapor that accumulates near a sufficiently hot surface, below the combustion initiation flame speed, may ignite resulting in an under hood fire, and increasing the risk of injury. Description of the Cause :Isolated engine manufacturing issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures involving engine block or oil pan breach. In the event of an engine block or oil pan breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle allowing the customer to continue to drive the vehicle. As the customer continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulates near ignition sources, primarily expected to be the exhaust system. Identification of Any Warning that can Occur :Engine failure is expected to produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants. An engine failure will also result in a reduction in engine torque. In Owner Letters mailed to customers, Ford will advise customers to safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible upon hearing unexpected engine noises, after experiencing an unexpected torque reduction, or if smoke is observed emanating from the engine compartment."
  • Dukeisduke In an ideal world, cars would be inspected in the way the MoT in the UK does it, or the TÜV in Germany. But realistically, a lot of people can't afford to keep their cars to such a high standard since they need them for work, and widespread public transit isn't a thing here.I would like the inspections to stick around (I've lived in Texas all my life, and annual inspections have always been a thing), but there's so much cheating going on (and more and more people don't bother to get their cars inspected or registration renewed), so without rigorous enforcement (which is basically a cop noticing your windshield sticker is out of date, or pulling you over for an equipment violation), there's no real point anymore.
  • Zipper69 Arriving in Florida from Europe and finding ZERO inspection procedures I envisioned roads crawling with wrecks held together with baling wire, duct tape and prayer.Such proved NOT to be the case, plenty of 20-30 year old cars and trucks around but clearly "unsafe at any speed" vehicles are few and far between.Could this be because the median age here is 95, so a lot of low mileage vehicles keep entering the market as the owners expire?
  • Zipper69 At the heart of GM’s resistance to improving the safety of its fuel systems was a cost benefit analysis done by Edward Ivey which concluded that it was not cost effective for GM to spend more than $2.20 per vehicle to prevent a fire death. When deposed about his cost benefit analysis, Mr. Ivey was asked whether he could identify a more hazardous location for the fuel tank on a GM pickup than outside the frame. Mr. Ivey responded, “Well yes…You could put in on the front bumper.”