Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo is a retro electric commercial van

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Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo

Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz Cargo is a retro-themed van, but has thoroughly modern electric running gear.

Volkswagen’s recent history of electric vans is patchy at best, but the VW ID Buzz Cargo aims to change that. It’s the first commercial vehicle to be based on the brand’s MEB electric vehicle platform, and its bespoke running gear should help it to achieve class-leading range and economy figures.

That range figure has yet to be confirmed, but with a 77kWh battery and a dedicated electric platform, it should be able to outperform the Stellantis group’s range of electric vans (Citroen e-Dispatch, Vauxhall Vivaro-e, etc). Those vans manage around 330km on a charge, and with the VW ID.3 hatchback offering up to 530km from its 77kWh battery, a range of around 400km is possible for the commercial vehicles newcomer.

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With the newly revealed ID Buzz MPV likely a long way off for Australia, the ID Buzz Cargo will remain a European offering for some time.

In terms of size, the ID. Buzz Cargo slots into VW’s commercial vehicle range between the Caddy Cargo and T6 Transporter. It’s 4712mm long, 1985mm wide and 1938mm tall, and there’s 3.9 cubic metres of space in the cargo area. That’s nearly a cubic metre more than in a Caddy Cargo, and VW says is big enough for two Euro pallets to fit inside.

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The load area is accessed via a top hinged tailgate at the rear or a single sliding side door – expect a second door to be offered as an option. The tailgate has a window, and the van in the first official pictures also has glass in the bulkhead that divides the cargo area from the cab. There’s a maximum payload weight of 650kg and the load sill is 632mm high, while VW will offer a longer wheelbase ID. Buzz Cargo with a bigger carrying capacity at a later date.

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Up front, there will be the option of two or three-seat cab layouts, while features include a 5.4-inch digital cockpit display for the driver and a 10-inch infotainment screen. This will be available with online connectivity and wireless smartphone compatibility, too. Cabin storage includes an optional ‘Buzz Box’ with a five-litre storage drawer and a top cubby featuring an ice scraper and bottle opener. This locks into place between the front seats on two-seat models, and can be removed when necessary.

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Power for the ID. Buzz Cargo comes from a 150kW electric motor that drives the rear wheels. There’s also 310Nm of torque from a standstill, so acceleration should be swift, and since the front wheels are free to steer, VW has created a tight turning circle of 11.1 metres for the newcomer.

It’s the van’s exterior styling that is one of the big talking points, though. The smooth shape is inspired by VW’s Type 2 or ‘Bulli’ as it’s known, and the smooth front end and slender headlights are a styling touch that’s similar to other ID models. The van’s aerodynamics have been honed to boost efficiency, with a figure of 0.29Cd quoted by VW.

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The van revealed at launch features a two-tone white-over-blue colour scheme, which will be offered as an option on the ID. Buzz Cargo, with yellow, orange and green also being offered.

Prices for the ID. Buzz Cargo haven’t been announced, but those along with final range and efficiency figures should be revealed closer to its on-sale date in Europe later this year.

Dean Gibson

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