Update: ‘VW ID. California campervan’ sub-section of ‘Future Variants and derivatives’ updated and ‘TopElectricSUV says’ section added.
Volkswagen’s next-generation van is finally here! The all-new ID. Buzz is based on the MEB platform and brings the iconic VW Bulli (VW Bus/VW Microbus) into the modern era. However, those of us in the United States will have to wait a little longer for its arrival. Here’s a comprehensive look at Volkswagen’s electric minivan.
The VW ID. Buzz is a daring futuristic interpretation of the VW Bulli, which first appeared as the VW T1 in 1950. Volkswagen designers haven’t gone overboard with retro looks, though. The overall design comes from the VW ID. Buzz concept unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Like the classic Bullis, the 21st century Bulli has a friendly and emotional character.
The VW ID. Buzz mixes curvy and sharply designed elements on the outside and the latter helps it look slightly aggressive and powerful, too. It has a signature V-shaped hood, honeycomb design in the front bumper, charismatic headlights incorporating the IQ.Light LED matrix technology, squarish windows, and slim horizontal LED tail lights. Then there are some true tell-tale EV signs, like extremely short overhangs, aero wheels, an LED strip between the headlights, an end-to-end light strip at the rear, etc.
The ID. Buzz has quite a character on the sides. Besides the headlights extending into the fenders, it has a proper MPV-style four-part window area. The chunky wheels, short overhangs, and boxy body make the MPV stubby yet very charming. The two-tone color scheme makes things even more interesting. The seats, the armrests of the front seats, the storage box between the front seats, the dashboard, and the colored padding in the upper section of the door panels have rounded corners.
The U.S.-spec ID. Buzz would feature the same design as the global model. However, while the global ID. Buzz will be available in two sizes — the already revealed, standard wheelbase version (pictured above) and a yet-to-be-unveiled, long-wheelbase version — the U.S.-spec model will only be available in the upcoming version. We’ve covered more about this in the ‘Specifications’ section of this story.
The U.S.-spec ID. Buzz could have a few differences with respect to the color choices and wheel options. Unlike the global electric van, the U.S.-spec model would feature a side marker light, as previewed in our renderings below:
No frunk on the VW ID. Buzz
EVs score high on practicality. Compared to ICE-powered cars, the space under the bonnet is usually engineered for storage with reduced mechanical components. Call it the frunk (front trunk) or the froot (front-boot), VW seems to have let go of this idea for the ID. Buzz. A video posted by Clint Simone on Twitter shows nothing behind the bonnet of the ID. Buzz apart from some chassis components, wiring, and washer fluid. The ID. Buzz has almost no front overhang, so there’s simply no space for front storage.
Popping the hood on the ID BUZZ – No frunk. pic.twitter.com/lENTHHSTu3— Clint Simone (@ClintSimone) February 2, 2022
Source: Clint Simone/Twitter
The VW ID. Buzz’s interior looks quite similar to the VW ID.4. The cabin is airy and light with an Open Space theme, with a lounge-like atmosphere. The interior looks clean and straightforward but relatively modern and upmarket for a people mover. The interior of the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz should have no major design changes from the global model.
The compact steering wheel has a flattish center cap and touch-sensitive controls. On the left of the driver is a control panel housing the light and vision functions, followed by a round AC vent. A floating touchscreen panel for the Discover Pro infotainment system resides in the middle of the dashboard, measuring 12 inches diagonally. However, the basic fitment is the Ready 2 Discover infotainment system with a smaller, 10-inch touchscreen panel.
As we are expecting only the high-end trims to be imported to the U.S., the 12-inch Discover Pro infotainment system will likely be standard in the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz. A 12-inch infotainment system (Discovery Pro Max) is standard in the U.S.-spec ID.4 as well. An inclined surface below the central display has sliders to adjust the audio volume and temperature. Finally, right behind the steering sits a compact, 5.3-inch digital instrument cluster along with a rocker switch to select the drive modes and activate the parking brake. A head-up display is not available in the ID. Buzz.
The interior borrows style elements from the T1 generation. Its combination of white and fresh colors gives the occupants a refreshing ambiance. Of course, ambient lighting is part of the interior equipment. The standard system allows choosing from 10 colors, but a higher-end option increases the number of choices to 30 colors. The metal pedals feature pause (brake pedal) and play (accelerate pedal) symbols, a signature interior design cue of VW ID. models.
There’s a special feature called ‘Buzz Box’ between the front seats that are electrically adjustable and have memory and massage functions. It’s basically a movable and removable center console. The Buzz Box includes a drawer for keeping a laptop or clipboard, along with a cup holder, a flip-lid compartment for a water bottle, and storage bins. It consists of an ice scraper and a bottle opener, too, both always easily accessible.
A honeycomb pattern is observed on the floor of the entry space of the second-row seats. A silhouette of the ID. Buzz carved on the plastic panels beside the outboard second-row seats is a nice easter egg. The designers have used a wink emoji as well, to add to the charming and funky character of the van. Another easter egg is a body-colored ID. Buzz motif in the cargo area. The designers have slyly put the silhouette of the EV on the rear drawer and back glass (beside the wiper’s tip), too.
The ID. Buzz (passenger model) greets the occupants with a distinct sound and also an interactive ‘ID. Light’ in front of the windscreen on entering and exiting it. ID. Light is a narrow illuminated strip that stretches across in front of the windscreen. It’s right in the driver’s field of vision, as its main purpose is to give visual alerts to the driver.
The ID. Light strip gives visual alerts in different positions and different colors. For example, for an instruction to change lane, it illuminates with a signal on the respective side (right or left). A signal in the right- or left-hand area of the strip, depending on the color, could also tell if there’s an obstruction in this area. When the entire light strip lights up in red, it means that the driver has to slam the brakes immediately, as it signals: “Beware! Brake!”
The VW ID. Buzz is one of the most sustainable Volkswagens worldwide. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge/VWN) has used organic paint for the exterior of the EV. The company has avoided using real leather or any other animal-origin materials whatsoever.
VWN has opted for substitute materials like polyurethane (for the steering wheel rim) and recyclates (for the seat covers, floor coverings, and headliner). Recyclates, which are materials made from recycled products, in this case, include SEAQUAL yarn, whose thread comprises approximately 10% marine plastic and about 90% recycled PET bottles. Another example of eco-friendly material in the electric microbes is ArtVelours ECO upholstery, in which the share of recyclates is 71%.
As an end-of-life cycle measure, VWN will prepare the battery pack of the ID. Buzz for a second use when scrapping it. An application that it is already considering for re-using the battery pack is the solar panel system of buildings.
Future variants and derivatives
VW ID. California campervan
In a press announcement on December 9, 2021, Volkswagen Group confirmed a new electric vehicle derivative called VW ID. California. In all likeliness, it was referring to a campervan version of the ID. Buzz. The model will co-exist with the California campervan that employs an internal combustion engine.
In an interview with German publication Automobilwoche, published in September 2022, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Carsten Intra discussed the ID. California release date. According to Intra, the electric campervan will arrive after the next-generation California (derived from the T7 Multivan). The VWN boss said that the company will discontinue the T6.1 California in 2024 and that there could be a short vacuum after that. Thus, don’t expect the ID. California to go on sale anytime before 2025.
The above picture is our depiction of a U.S.-spec VW ID. California beach camper. Do note that Volkswagen Group hasn’t confirmed the model for the U.S. yet.
The pure electric campervan we’ve rendered has a wheelbase longer than the Euro-spec ID. Buzz. We’ve painted the future model in a baby blue color that would make it look right at home when driven to pristine Californian beaches. The campervan that we have derived from the ID. Buzz passenger van flaunts exclusive alloy wheels as well. It has an electrically operated pop-up roof that creates a generous upper berth for a second sleeping enclosure.
VW ID. Buzz GTX
When you think of a performance-oriented GTX or GTI model, a van is not what immediately comes to mind. Not if you are VWN! With a unique take on the category, the ID. Buzz GTX promises offers plenty of features and some extra excitement.
Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. family, Volkswagen Group, confirmed on June 15, 2022, that a VW ID. Buzz GTX is in the pipeline. Below is what she said:
We will continuously expand this brand and offer a GTX variant for every ID. model in future – from the ID.3 to the ID. Buzz.Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. family, Volkswagen Group, on June 15, 2022, via Volkswagen Newsroom.
We’ve rendered the sporty variant of the ID. Buzz in a metallic red/gloss black dual-tone color scheme. While this ID. Buzz GTX sits on grippy 20-inch wheels, we do expect an option for larger, 21-inch wheels for customers who focus more on style than handling. Featuring a newly designed bumper and grille, additional vertically stacked daytime running lights in the form of honeycomb elements, red brake calipers, and a gloss black GTX logo, this van will turn heads!
A Volkswagen (USA) spokesperson has confirmed that the wheelbase of ID. Buzz heading to the U.S. will be 10.6 inches longer than the model launched in Europe, The Drive said in a report published on August 24, 2022. The distance between the axles of the American model could be 128.3 inches, which would open up generous room for passengers in the third row and the luggage compartment, improving the outdoorsy appeal of the electric van.
As for the length of the ID. Buzz, in April 2022, Jeffrey Lear, Production Manager – Electric Vehicles, Volkswagen (USA), had told CarBuzz that “all the additional length will come from the wheelbase.” Thus, the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz could measure 196.1 inches in length.
In an official announcement on June 8, 2022, Volkswagen formally revealed that it plans to offer the long-wheelbase ID. Buzz with seven seats. Previously, in an interview with Electrek in September 2021, Dustin Krause, former Director of E-Mobility, Volkswagen of America, had indicated that the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz will be available with up to eight seats. He had said that the “7-8-seat transporter” would accommodate tall people like him (6’3″) in the rear seats, as the seats ahead will be more toward the front of the vehicle than in SUVs.
Expect a three-person bench seat in the second row that can be folded down completely or split 40:60 and allows adjusting the length as well. The third row could have two individual seats (in a 7-seat configuration) or a similar triple bench seat that is split 40:60 (in an 8-seat configuration).
Performance & Efficiency
Speaking to Yahoo Finance in March 2022, Scott Keogh, former President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, confirmed that compared to the ID. Buzz currently available in Europe, the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz will have a higher energy storage capacity and a more potent drive unit. For reference, the former has a 12-module, 82 kWh (gross) battery pack that powers a 150 kW (201 hp)/310 Nm (229 lb-ft) rear motor and delivers a WLTP range of 423 km (263 miles).
We want to do a specific version for the US market. This is going to have a third row, it’s going to have a bigger battery, it’s going to have a performance drive unit.Scott Keogh, former President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America (Conversation with Yahoo Finance on March 21, 2022)
Feeding the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz’s electric motor(s) will likely be a 111 kWh (gross) battery pack that offers an EPA-est. range of around 300 miles. An eight-year/100,000 miles (whichever occurs first) warranty for the battery pack and a four-year/50,000 mile (whichever occurs first) warranty for the vehicle will likely be standard. Two motors, one at the front axle and one at the rear axle, may produce 220 kilowatts (295 horsepower) and 339 pound-feet of torque.
The U.S.-spec ID. Buzz will likely accept charging at 11 kW (AC)/170 kW (DC). Charging the battery pack from 0 to 100% SoC on alternating current may take around eight hours. Using a DC fast-charger, topping up from 5 to 80% should take around 30 minutes.
The U.S.-spec ID. Buzz would offer the Plug & Charge convenience feature. Customers won’t require the charging card authentication process at supporting charging stations. It will happen automatically via encrypted communication by plugging in the charging cable.
Bidirectional charging will likely be possible, allowing customers to power their home (vehicle-to-home), charge other EVs (with vehicle-to-vehicle), and, eventually, maybe even make money (with vehicle-to-grid). Bidirectional charging would come quite handy during camping trips to power external equipment like speakers, cooking appliances, lights, etc.
|Aspect||U.S.-spec VW ID. Buzz specification (Expected)|
|No. of Motor(s)||Two|
|Motor Power||220 kW (295 hp)|
|Motor Torque||339 lb.-ft.|
|Battery Pack Capacity (gross)||111 kWh|
|AC Charging Power||11 kW|
|DC Charging Power||170 kW|
|EPA-est. Range||~300 miles|
Production of the U.S.-spec VW ID. Buzz will take place alongside the global model at VWN’s Hannover plant in Germany. This means that it won’t be eligible for Clean Vehicle Credit. Specific conversions were made to the Hannover facility to accommodate electric vehicle production—a new body shop was introduced, and new sections were added to the assembly line for EV components.
Over 4,000 employees were trained on the working procedures to ensure a seamless start to manufacturing the ID. Buzz. After Zwickau and Emden, the Hannover plant is VW’s third electric vehicle manufacturing site.
In an announcement on June 17, 2022, VWN said that it plans to manufacture around 15,000 units of the VW ID. Buzz (incl. a VW ID. Buzz Cargo) in 2022. 2023 is also likely to be a slow year. However, after 2023, VWN sees itself producing up to 130,000 units of the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo. The company said that it will begin production of the ID. Buzz long-wheelbase in Hannover in 2023, and that North America will get its electric van from the same manufacturing facility.
No U.S. production plans
In the interview with Automobilwoche, Carsten Intra indicated that there’s no plan to make the ID. Buzz in the U.S. He said that demand for the ID. Buzz will grow in 2023 but VWN will not be able to increase annual production in Hannover to 130,000 units that year. However, when output hits that level eventually, “that will certainly be enough for Europe.” Asked whether that level of output will be enough for the U.S. as well, Intra said that there will be another surge in demand when the ID. Buzz arrives in the U.S. The company will have to reevaluate the need to expand production capacity again. It may get the ID. Buzz made at the Volkswagen Poznań plant (Poland) if expansion in Hannover is impossible, but it is not considering other options, Intra said.
Price & Release Date
Customer deliveries of the VW ID. Buzz in the U.S. will start in 2024. The electric family van won’t come cheap, with prices highly likely to start around USD 60,000. Even in Germany, the brand’s home market and where it benefits from local production, the ID. Buzz (available in a single ‘Pro’ trim) costs EUR 64,581.30 (~USD 62,273). And keep in mind that we are talking about a less advanced configuration with a standard wheelbase, a less potent, single-motor powertrain, and a smaller battery pack when we mention the German price tag.
Until the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz is ready, the Euro-spec model is being used for promotion. In March 2022, the ID. Buzz was a part of the 2022 South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas — the electric van was driven between two stations near the Austin Convention Center, delivering information and entertainment to on-lookers and jaywalkers via various ‘Buzz Stops.’ The EV’s appearance in Austin was a part of a larger 3-year sponsorship deal between VW and the South by Southwest event organizers. The festival was held between March 11-20, 2022.
The 2022 New York International Auto Show hosted the regional stage debut of the ID. Buzz. NYIAS 2022 took place from April 13-24, 2022, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
Significant customer interest recorded at U.S. dealerships
During a conference call with the media on March 21, 2022, Keogh said that the dealer response for the ID. Buzz in the U.S. “is significant,” as per a report from InsideEVs. Customers have started inquiring dealers about ID. Buzz reservations in the U.S. and one dealer has received 75 reservation inquiries, Keogh said. Speaking further, he said that the company could localize the ID. Buzz “if demand is beyond what Hannover can deliver.”
While speaking to Yahoo Finance on March 21, 2022, Keogh suggested that there’s a record-breaking demand for the ID. Buzz in the U.S. and Volkswagen will likely need to come prepared for an extremely high demand at launch. Keogh expects the ID. Buzz to be a “home run” for the German brand here.
The fact of the matter is I’ve never seen this much demand for a vehicle. I get emails from dealers, I get paintings from small children, I get hugs from grandmothers. They want to be first in line. So this thing just covers every spectrum imaginable. So I think it’s going to be a home run.Scott Keogh, former President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America (Conversation with Yahoo Finance on March 21, 2022)
The ID. Buzz is a great eco-friendly choice for families and people with an active lifestyle who don’t need the off-roading capabilities of an SUV. Whether you’re shopping at Costco or carrying your surfboard to the beach, this stylish EV will get you noticed. Now that the enthusiasm is there, all that’s needed to convert it into impressive sales figures are accessible variants.
VW ID. Buzz FAQs
What is the VW ID. Buzz release date?
The ID. Buzz will go on sale in the U.S. in 2024.
What will be the VW ID. Buzz price?
The base VW ID. Buzz in the U.S. will likely cost around USD 60,000 onwards.
Which models will be VW ID. Buzz alternatives?
The VW ID. Buzz will be a unique product in the U.S.
Featured Image Source: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz.