What's the Buzz?

It was iconic. It was groovy. It's still loved today. The VW Bus helped to define the hippie generation.

Now, the I.D. Buzz concept is preparing to become the new Bus for the electric generation. Taking the iconic design language and merging it with cutting-edge electric vehicle technology, the Buzz hopes to be the leader for the new generation of clean and green drivers. So, what's the buzz about the Buzz?


The Volkswagen ID.Buzz is Coming to West Broad Volkswagen in Richmond, VA | Old Volkswagen Bus driving down trail

Photo of an old Volkswagen Bus. Images of new I.D. Buzz coming soon!

A Flexible Toolkit

At its foundation, the upcoming I.D. Buzz is built on the same platform as the Audi Q4 and Q5 e-trons, the Skoda Enyaq, and the VW ID.3 through ID.6 series. The VW Modular Electric-Drive Toolkit - also called the MEB due to the acronym in the original German (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten if you want to sound fancy) - is a unit that consolidates the electronic controls into a platform to build off of.

This isn't a new idea. The use of base platforms is common across the automotive world, particularly when a parent company supports multiple brands. The advantage of a common platform is that it offers shorter construction times, cheaper builds, and interchangeability across the platform. It does lend to having some inherent same-ness across the vehicles in terms of stance and appearance; this is where the individual brand and vehicle designers come in.


Reviving the Microbus

Putting some personality on top of that platform was a big deal for VW to get public buy-in. With vehicles like the Tesla Roadster and Model S already on the road at the time of the debut, plus numerous concepts across the industry, VW needed to set the I.D. line apart.

Volkswagen unveiled the I.D. Buzz concept at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Car fanatics immediately saw the common design themes with the beloved Type 2 Microbus. It was a massive debut, and certainly drew hype right away, with plenty of automotive magazines and YouTube channels getting some seat time. The original concept revived the nostalgia of many, and promised that the modern Bus would retain the fun, jaunty persona of the past while utilizing modern design and technology.


The Volkswagen ID.Buzz is Coming to West Broad Volkswagen in Richmond, VA | An old Volkswagen Bus parked in a parking lot

Photo of an old Volkswagen Bus. Images of new I.D. Buzz coming soon!

Concept Versus Reality

While the concept looked great on paper, quite a bit of time has passed since then. With the pandemic throwing everything into a tizzy, VW had to put the Buzz on the backburner. The Hanover, Germany plant where the Buzz will be built had to kick out cargo vans to deal with the uptick in commercial vehicle needs for deliveries and transportation. This delayed the conversion needed to build the Buzz, a change that is still not complete.

The good news is that the expected return of the Bus is in the near future, and the expected specs have been improved since the concept. The use of the MEB platform will likely provide the Buzz with capacities of 48 kWh pr 110 kWh, with the current expected ranges being 200 miles and 340 miles, respectively. Depending on the layout, there should be room for seven or eight passengers as well as plenty of cargo space and flexible interior configurations. There's no doubt it will be a connected vehicle, with a touch screen infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration along with Volkswagen's Car-Net capabilities pretty much guaranteed.

The concept exterior design has undergone some alteration though. The current iteration has moved more inline with the current crop of cargo vans on the road - namely because the Buzz will also give rise to an offshoot, the Buzz Cargo, for use as an electric delivery vehicle. The original cab-over bubble nose appearance that was a nod to the Type 2 is gone, replaced with a longer sloping nose. Perhaps it's merely the paint job on the most recent vehicle unveiled in September, which certainly doesn't do the Buzz any favors.

There are sure to be plenty of design options to individualize it though - maybe you'll want to opt for some trippy wrap or paint, although we're thinking most other drivers on the road would appreciate it if you didn't. Of course, there are bound to be lifestyle models, with surfer-themed versions as well as VW Camper revivals both being tossed around. As we get closer to release, we expect a variety of models, trims, and conversion packages will be announced as the buzz continues to build.


The Volkswagen ID.Buzz is Coming to West Broad Volkswagen in Richmond, VA | An old Volkswagen Bus parked in a tropical area

Photo of an old Volkswagen Bus. Images of new I.D. Buzz coming soon!

       

The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz is expected to debut in late 2023, as a 2024 model. Keep an eye out on Volkswagen's YouTube channel, and at your friendly neighborhood VW dealer, for more information on the final production specs and features of the Buzz! Contact us to stay up to date with West Broad Volkswagen and get your chance to see the Volkswagen ID.Buzz in person!


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