All-Electric VW ID. Buzz Makes Global Debut, Our Wait is Not Over Yet

Five years after the concept shown in Detroit, the all-new Volkswagen ID. Buzz today made its global debut in production form, capturing the spirit of the iconic Type 2 van—also known as Bus, Microbus, Combi or Samba depending on where you live—in a totally fresh and fully electric package.

But the wait is far from over yet. That’s because the models you see here, including the ID. Buzz Cargo, are those that will go on sale in Europe starting this summer.

The North American-bound ID. Buzz, featuring a longer wheelbase and three-row seating, will debut in 2023 and hit the market in 2024, with production to take place in Hannover, Germany. Volkswagen Canada’s public relations manager, Thomas Tetzlaff, told us he doesn’t expect to have information to share about the Canadian model anytime soon.

For sure, the new ID. Buzz will dispel any lingering memories of the late Volkswagen Routan while bringing a good dose of fun and originality to the German brand’s lineup. It all starts with an available two-tone exterior (including the roof and V-shaped hood in Candy White), charismatically styled LED headlights and taillights, plus a VW logo in the front that is larger than that of all other current Volkswagens.

On top trim levels, when someone with the vehicle’s key approaches the ID. Buzz, the lights glow briefly to welcome them, and a projection of light shows the way to the vehicle. As soon as any door gets opened, the ID. Buzz appears to say ‘Hello’ with a discreet sound and lights up the interactive ‘ID. Light’ in front of the windscreen. Wheels are available in sizes ranging from 18 to 21 inches, while the turning diameter is fairly tight at 11.1 metres.

Photo: Volkswagen

Inside, the two-row configuration (which we won’t get, remember) features individual front seats with adjustable armrests and folding tables on the back along with a sliding rear bench seat that folds flat 60/40. An available height-adjustable trunk floor results in 1,121 litres of cargo volume. The three-row configuration will add a two-seat bench for a total of seven seats.

The base interior trim for the ID. Buzz that goes with all exterior colours is called ‘Soul,’ but there’s a number of other colours and trim options that can be specified, too. Ambient lighting (optionally available with up to 30 colours) jazzes up the mood, while the attention to detail is evident in many individual ID. Buzz motifs—and even smileys—that decorate the interior in various places.

Photo: Volkswagen

By the way, the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo are Volkswagen’s first two models featuring completely animal-free material instead of leather. Some of the materials used for the seat covers, floor coverings and roof liner are created from recycled products.

The cockpit of the ID. Buzz combines a 10-inch digital instrument panel with a 10-inch infotainment system that is positioned centrally in the dashboard (a 12-inch display with navigation is optional). The two are connected only at the bottom, looking like floating tablets. Beneath the infotainment system is a control bar with digital buttons and touch sliders for vehicle functions such as climate control.

Photo: Volkswagen

Meanwhile, forget about a traditional shifter or even shift buttons: the transmission is operated via a steering column stalk that drivers turn forwards for drive and backwards for reverse. An optional movable and removable centre console, derived from the Detroit concept car, maximizes versatility.

As for the technical aspects, the ID. Buzz rides on the same MEB platform as other ID. models from Volkswagen including the ID.4 crossover. Initially, a 201-horsepower electric motor will drive the rear axle. Maximum torque of 229 pound-feet is instantly available. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery provides gross energy content of 82 kWh (77 kWh net), but more battery versions of various power output levels will follow later.

Photo: Volkswagen

With DC fast charging up to 170 kW, the battery charge level can rise from 5-80 percent in just 30 minutes, the automaker claims. An optional heat pump will use the heat given off by the electrical components to warm the interior in the winter, making more energy available for maximum range. Unfortunately, no range target is specified at this point.

Similar to the ID.4, an AWD variant should be available in Canada, but that remains to be confirmed. Keep following The Car Guide for all the latest on the ID. Buzz.

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