Volkswagen’s retro-styled, all-electric ID Buzz is priced around $100,000 to $110,000 in its first right-hand drive market.
Volkswagen ID Buzz customers can expect to pay from £57,115 (AUD$98,900) to get their hands on a right-hand drive version of VW’s funky electric minivan when sales begin in the UK this July.
While the model is not yet confirmed for Australia – in fact, Volkswagen is yet to commit to the timing on any ID model – the success of VW campers locally and EV uptake, in general, would put the ID Buzz into a unique position, but one where it might well ask around $100,000 or more.
For now, European, US and UK customers can line up to order a new model. Volkswagen has confirmed the new ID Buzz range will start with the entry-level Life model, from that £57,115 (AUD$98,900) price tag. But up a level will be the £61,915 (AUD$107,200) mid-range Style model and finally the £62,995 (AUD$109,100) 1st Edition. Customers will have to place a deposit of £2,000 (AUD$3460) by the end of this month to secure a priority slot for the five-seat ID Buzz, with pre-orders not available on the ID Buzz Cargo commercial van variant just yet.
Every model in the ID Buzz range features the same running gear as the ID.3. That means a 77kWh battery, sending 150kW and 310Nm of torque to the rear wheels. Volkswagen claims the ID Buzz is capable of an all-electric range of up to 415km.
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 minivan shape with a rakish windscreen, while VW claims a drag coefficient of 0.29Cd to help boost efficiency.
There are slender LED headlights on the range-topping 1st Edition variant 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.
A full-height tailgate can be found at the back 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. 21-inch wheels are available exclusively for the 1st Edition.
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.
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.
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 a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system feature on the Life model, the higher-spec models get a 12-inch screen 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.
Production of the ID Buzz begins later this year.