The Type 2 “Kombi” is perhaps Volkswagen’s second most iconic vehicle after the Beetle – often associated with the hippie culture of yore, among other things. Now, the famed microbus is back, or rather, reincarnated as an eco-friendly EV known as the ID.Buzz.
Unveiled by Volkswagen (VW) just recently, the new ID.Buzz EV sports a modernised reimagining of the Kombi. It features a sleeker design, along with wide head/tail lights, a two-tone colour scheme, and an infotainment-equipped stylish interior. The reborn microbus is also built on top of the automaker’s modular electric drive matrix platform (officially abbreviated as “MEB,” based on its German naming), which is also used for its current and future ID-branded EVs – as well as certain models from Audi, Škoda and Cupra.
VW added that it will be releasing passenger and cargo variants of the vehicle, with some varying elements between the European and US versions. According to its US CEO Scott Keogh, the country’s edition of the ID.Buzz will be “more stylised for the American marketplace,” featuring a longer wheelbase and three rows of seating as opposed to the European version, which only comes with two. Furthermore, Keogh also teased a “California” camper edition of the microbus, but details surrounding it are still a mystery for the time being.
Specs-wise, Volkswagen revealed that EV will come equipped with a 77-kWh battery pack with a 170 kW charging capacity powering a 150 kW rear motor. As an exclusive for the European market, a bidirectional charging with V2H (vehicle-to-home) energy transfers will also be included on the vehicle. In addition, this particular version will also come with autonomous driving features such as Active Lane-Change Assist and Park Assist Plus, as well as V2X data sharing for regular updates regarding traffic and potential road hazards. Unfortunately VW did not mention if it is planning to introduce these features to markets outside of Europe.
The passenger model is able to accommodate a total of five individuals (more for the US version), along with 39.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The cargo variant, on the other hand, will replace the rear seats for an additional storage space of 137.7 cubic feet. Volkswagen added that the latter model will also offer a number of customisable aspects, including the choice between bench and bucket seats, as well as different rear door choices: tailgate, twin swing-out, or double sliding side doors.
The new VW ID.Buzz will first arrive in Europe later this year, while the US version is slated to debut in 2023. Meanwhile, the automaker revealed that it is also currently working on Level 4 self-driving version of the EV, which will begin its Shared Riding Model pilot program in Hamburg in 2025. Volkswagen has yet to reveal the ID.Buzz’s pricing and whether the vehicle will be introduced to the global market.