Volkswagen ID Buzz revealed

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The retro-inspired Volkswagen ID Buzz five-seat electric people carrier has been revealed in full.

Another new model has been added to Volkswagen’s ID electric line-up in the shape of the VW ID. Buzz. The newcomer is an MPV that’s based on the same platform as the ID.3 electric hatchback, but rather than being an upscaled version of that car, it takes retro design inspiration from the Beetle-based VW Type 2 or Bulli.

Australia is still waiting on the conventional electric VW ID range to launch here, so the Buzz is likely a fair way off.

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Since it uses the same running gear as the ID.3, the ID. Buzz has a 150kW electric motor driving the rear wheels, while a battery with 77kWh of usable capacity is fitted. VW hasn’t confirmed driving range for the ID. Buzz just yet, but we’d expect a range of around 400km.

There’s 170kW charging on board, so the battery can be charged from five to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes from a powerful enough DC source. What’s more, the ID. Buzz will come with bi-directional charging as standard, so not only will you be able to charge the car at home, you’ll also be able to feed energy from the battery back into the grid.

The production version of the ID. Buzz remains largely unchanged from the concepts that we’ve seen since 2017. It’s a fairly standard one-box MPV shape with a rakish windscreen, while VW claims a drag coefficient of 0.29Cd to help boost efficiency.

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It’s the details that help it to stand out. There are slender LED headlights up front with a light bar stretching between them to connect with the large VW badge in the middle, while lower down is a mesh grille design for the lower air intakes. Sliding side doors feature, while the rearmost pillars use a three-bar design motif.

At the back is a full-height tailgate with slender lights across the full width of the rear end. The two-tone colour scheme seen in the first official pictures will be offered as an option, with yellow, orange, blue or green bodywork beneath a white upper section.

Volkswagen ID Buzz

Overall the ID. Buzz is relatively compact. At 4712mm long it’s 192mm shorter than the T6 Caravelle, but has a wheelbase of 2988mm, which is almost identical to the T6. This helps to maximise passenger space, but while the concepts featured clever sliding and rotating seats, the ID. Buzz has a conventional five-seat layout in a 2-3 configuration. The rear bench splits 60:40 and slides to maximise legroom or cargo space, though, and there’s a vast 1121 litres of boot space in five-seat mode. Fold the rear bench flat, and a maximum of 2205 litres is on offer.

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Go for a two-tone exterior, and the cabin will have the same colour theme, although we’ll have to wait and see how easy it will be to keep the white steering wheel and upholstery looking good. Practical touches include up to eight USB-C charging sockets throughout the cabin, while a new innovation is the ‘Buzz Box’. This is a central storage bin that sits between the front seats and contains a top compartment housing an ice scraper and bottle opener, bottle storage and a large five-litre drawer for storing bulkier items.

Another innovation of the cabin is the elimination of leather upholstery. The steering wheel is wrapped in a synthetic alternative, while the carpets and seat fabrics all come with varying levels of recycled plastic within them. It’s part of VW’s aim to make the ID. Buzz carbon neutral all the way from manufacture to delivery.

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There’s plenty of technology on board the ID. Buzz, and most of it is carried over from the ID.3 and ID.4. There’s a 5.4-inch Virtual Cockpit driver’s display, while 10 or 12-inch touchscreen infotainment systems are mounted centrally on the dashboard. As with other ID models, touch-sensitive climate controls feature, while wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, online connectivity and voice control all feature.

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Production of the ID. Buzz begins later this year, with the first deliveries for Europe due in late 2022.

Dean Gibson

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