Volkswagen ID.Buzz revealed: Electric T1 Microbus successor truckin' into 2024

March 9, 2022

The Bus is back, and it's electric. It's no secret Volkswagen put a charge into resurrecting its legendary T1 Microbus as the electric ID.Buzz, but details disclosed by Volkswagen on Wednesday finally give the hive something to buzz about. 

Styled similarly to the Microbus but without the multitude of windows on the 1960s Type 2, the ID.Buzz looks like a stubby box on wheels with a flat vertical rear end, a low but broad front end, and a steeply raked windshield that should provide excellent outward vision, same as the original. A lower mesh grille rises into a snout flanked by LED headlights shaped more squinty than round, unlike the original. A light bar bridges the headlights into a big ol' VW logo, "in an homage to the T1," Volkswagen said. Tall front quarter windows support a flat roof that finishes in the rear with an integrated roof spoiler. Three garnishes on each D-pillar look like reflectors in press pictures, but VW did not disclose their purpose. An LED taillight bar bridges the back. 

Sorry, folks, but there's 10 windows, not 11 (or 21); the split front windshield of the T1 wouldn't fly in today's regulatory era. It wouldn't be a Bus without lurid paint choices—Energetic Orange as one of the seven—and four two-tone options with a Candy White roof and hood. VW says the paint will be organically based. In short, the production version looks similar to the concept shown in 2017. 

The versions revealed today include a five-seat passenger van and a cargo van with a partition between the back and the front bench that can seat three people, including the driver. A six-passenger option with three rows of two seats will follow. Those models will be specific to European markets, and will go on sale later this year. The North American version won't debut until 2023 with sales starting in 2024. All we know about the NA model is it will be on a long wheelbase, and will have a seven-seat configuration with two seats up front, two in the way back, and a mid-row bench that seats three. 

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

The European five-seat standard version measures 78.1 inches wide, 76.3 inches tall, 185.5 inches long, and rides on a 117.6-inch wheelbase. Only 5.0 inches longer than a Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover, the ID.Buzz measures nearly half-a-foot wider and a foot taller, and its wheelbase is nearly nine inches longer. One of the most compelling things about the ID.4 is its roominess; the ID.Buzz passenger van appears to supersize that. The front seats move 9.6 inches front to back, and the three-person bench seat can be folded flat, split 60/40, or slide 5.9 inches. Sliding doors promise easy minivan access to all seats, and the hatch stores 39.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The only current plug-in minivan in North America is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

The European model will feature a 77-kwh usable battery pack (82-kwh potential) and a single motor with rear-wheel drive. Output is estimated at 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque, with a top speed limited to 90 mph. "More battery versions with various power output levels are expected to follow in 2023," VW said in a statement. Rumors suggest a dual-motor all-wheel-drive version with more power for North American markets. A steering column stalk/dial lets you put it in gear. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 21 inches. 

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Features for the European model include a 10.0-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless smartphone connectivity, an available 12.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, at least two USB-C ports, and all the ambient lighting. A light bar beyond the instrument cluster reflects the status of the driver-assist systems, such as standard automatic emergency braking and active lane control.

Recycled materials are used on the seats, floor, and roof, and VW will offer a fabric made of recycled water bottles. VW says its high-voltage lithium-ion batteries will be produced without cobalt, which has controversial mining conditions in developing countries.   

Produced in Hannover, Germany, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz will be revealed for North America in 2023. 

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