Continental has quite a hand in the tech that's going to be in the ID.Buzz.

Continental gets the VW Bus rolling
The fact that the new ID. Buzz is not only produced in Hanover, Germany, but is also equipped with technologies from Continental, is not the only connection Continental has to the iconic VW Bus. The very first models of the T1 rolling off the assembly line in 1950 also already contained installed components from Continental and what today are Continental subsidiaries. These included hoses, buffers, seals and gaskets, fan belts and surface materials. The years that followed saw Continental develop a wide range of technologies for drive shafts, hydraulic four-wheel brakes and fuel meters for use in the T1 models. So it wasn’t just the high-performance tires from Continental that helped make the original VW Bus so successful.

Continental maintained a close relationship to the versatile T1 from Volkswagen – not only as a technology partner, but also in its own vehicle fleet. Continental used these vehicles for example to make promotional films, or deployed them as support cars for racing events, or as test and sales vehicles.

A high-performance ride into the future of electric mobility
Continental supplies various high-performance components for the ID. Buzz that Continental has developed itself, such as its In-Car Application Server 1 (ICAS 1) which, as a fully networked server, acts as the central data hub in the vehicle and the connection point between the ID. Buzz and the digital world. The central high-performance computer which Continental developed in close collaboration with its subsidiary Elektrobit (who also supplies the operating system) enables new software functions as well as safety and security updates to be installed in the vehicle via wireless connection. The ICAS 1 also makes functions such as range-optimized route planning and locating charging stations available to the electric VW Bus, all of which make “electric” journeys simpler and more convenient and comfortable.

In addition, Continental developed what is called the Plug and Charge function for the ICAS 1. When the charging cable is plugged in, the server’s software supports authentication of the registered vehicle at supported charging stations, and automatically manages the charging operation.

Continental also injects its in-house technology expertise into the thermal management, tires, and interior materials of the ID. Buzz. For example, new Volkswagen ID. Buzz’s leaving the assembly line are fitted with Continental’s EcoContact 6 Q summer tires on 19- and 20-inch diameter wheel rims. These tires offer particularly low rolling resistance, which saves energy and lends the e-van the greatest possible range between charging cycles. Equipping the vehicle with ContiSeal technology meets the requirements of the ID. Buzz in a special way, reliably sealing its tires in the event the tread ply is pierced by objects of up to 5-millimeter diameter, and thereby preventing some 90 percent of the tire damage that would otherwise occur.

Electric vehicles pose particularly high demands on thermal management functions, as multiple cooling circuits are maintained for the batteries in order to achieve longer range and long battery service life. Continental supplies, among other components, the battery sensors and coolant lines for the ID. Buzz. When selecting and compiling the sustainable materials installed in the vehicle interior, Acella PVC artificial leather is used for the door inserts from Continental.

The Brocken meets the Bus
Even Germany’s Brocken can’t stop the fascination for the iconic VW Bus: On this highest mountain in Northern Germany and popular tourist attraction, we meet Daniel Steinhoff, operator of the legendary Brockenhotel in the Harz Mountains. His love for the VW Bus runs through the family, as his father maintained a T3 Bus in his vehicle fleet already in the early 1990s to keep his popular tourist destination well supplied. Won over by the vehicle’s quality, even in bad weather conditions during the winter months, the subsequent years saw T4, T5 and T6 models acquired to serve the hotel as well. The Steinhoff family also count among the first owners to use the T4 natural gas buses in their business.

The Brockenhotel’s vehicle fleet currently has three T6 Buses with double cab, three T6 Minibuses, and Steinhoff himself drives a T6 Multivan as his private vehicle – all equipped with 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Yet, he has a soft spot for even the older models, and today owns an original T1 Bus and a T2 Bus. But these iconic, classic VW Buses were not easy to come by: only after long searching did he fulfill his wish in 2016 and 2017 to acquire these beloved vintage cars.

Asked whether the ID. Buzz could be an option for him, he answers, “The ID. Buzz would of course interest us, especially because of its sustainability. For me personally, it would be exciting to see how it behaves in winter, when it’s already needed early in the morning up there in the cold, and evenings after hours when you have to drive back down to the town of Schierke.”

He, too, has certainly noticed the change in travel behavior among tourists. The Brocken sees peak-season crowds particularly on weekends and during school vacation periods. No wonder, as the Harz Mountains offer a unique natural environment and a wide range of destinations for outings – like the popular hotel at the Brocken summit. And that’s what the VW Bus and this special location at an elevation of 1,141 meters share in common: their iconic status and unique appeal.

A sure-fire success for the future
It’s not the destination – it’s the journey. No other car stands more for this motto than the legendary Transporter from Volkswagen: the VW Bus. While the models have continuously changed over the decades, the fascination always remains the same. Volkswagen seeks to expand its clientele reach with the ID. Buzz and, overall, increase the volume of electric mobility. For this reason, additional variants are planned for the future, including models fitted with a smaller battery pack and with all-wheel drive. A pickup version is likewise not ruled out.

Recent years have shown us how quickly our daily routines can be changed by external circumstances, thereby influencing our form of mobility, too. Our travel behavior, how we address the issue of sustainability, our relationship with the automobile, even our driving in itself: everything is continuously changing. The new ID. Buzz demonstrates all this in a particularly special way, as it unites an innovative eye for the future with a nostalgic connection to its unique, iconic past. No matter where the journey leads: A range of over 420 km per charge will in any case take you a long way forward into a new world of mobility.