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After months of speculation, rumors, and reports, VW has finally confirmed that it will produce the I.D. Buzz, its all-electric homage to the Microbus.
The decision was announced today at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a part of the prestigious Monterey Car Week.
The I.D. Buzz is being targeted at Europe, China, and—most excitingly—the US. Volkswagenpredicts that it will hit showrooms in 2022.
“After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car’,” said VW CEO Dr. Herbert Diess. “The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle.
The Buzz will do more than just rekindle Beach Boys memories, though, it will also be put to work, as Eckhard Scholz, CEO of VW Commercial Vehicles, explained.
“Along with a minibus version, we’ll also be offering an I.D. BUZZ CARGO variant for zero-emissions delivery of goods,” said Scholz. “With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities.”
The I.D. Buzz was first introduced at the North American International Auto Show and is based on the exclusively electric MEB platform. With variable amounts of batteries under the floor, and electric motors both fore and aft, the Buzz benefits from a low center of gravity and more interior volume than any similarly sized internal combustion engine competitor.
The platform is also what allows the Buzz to actually be produced. Over the years VW has produced many concepts that sought to interpret the cab forward design, but safety considerations would have made production versions impractical or ugly. This version, though, thanks to its lack of engine and VW’s access to modern materials can pass safety tests while also looking good.
“We are delighted,” said Hinrich Woebcken, head of VW’s North American market. “This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership. The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.”