The nostalgia runs high when you hear about the Volkswagen Microbuzz. The small bus from the house of German manufacturer was part of every hippie group and other people who used to take up long trips in the 60s and 70s. The good news is, Volkswagen is bringing back the nostalgia factor by launching the all-new Microbus in the form of the I.D. Buzz concept. The bad news is, you have to wait till 2022 for the vehicle to hit the road.
First showcased at Detroit Motor Show in early 2017, Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ concept car is a fully electric vehicle that combines the spirit and vibe of the iconic VW Microbus with the modernity of an electric car. But the decision to put the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ concept car into production came recently at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.
The announcement was made by the Chairmen of the Boards of Management of the Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands, Dr Herbert Diess and Dr Eckhard Scholz. Volkswagen’s CEO of the North American Region, Hinrich J. Woebcken is happy to welcome the car to North America. Volkswagen has set the launch date for the I.D. BUZZ in 2022 as a compact four-door I.D. and the company is targeting markets in North America, Europe and China.
"After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car’,” Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said in Pebble Beach. The Board of Management chose Pebble Beach as the location to make its announcement because, as Diess explained: "The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle."
As mentioned, the production model will be electric powered and will have its batteries mounted in the vehicle floor. To make way for electric motor, power electronics, and such, along with a massive spacious cabin - the vehicle will have a long wheelbase with short overhangs. "The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV," Diess explained.
CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, Hinrich J. Woebcken added: “We are delighted that our parent company has taken the decision to produce the I.D. BUZZ. This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership. The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.”
But the success of the I.D. BUZZ will depend on its ability to act as a freight van, along with being a passenger vehicle, just like the classic T2. "Along with a minibus version, we'll also be offering an I.D. BUZZ CARGO variant for zero- emissions delivery of goods,” said Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz. "With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities."
While the first Volkswagen microbus was launched more than seven decades ago as compared to the newest I.D. Buzz, both of them were meant for a single goal – to offer maximum utilization of space in a mid-size passenger car. The production version of the I.D. BUZZ will include multi- variable seating, interactive connectivity and highly automated driving, as seen in the concept car.