It’s been a long time since the iconic VW Bus was ever-present on U.S. roads, but a first look at that beloved vehicle’s descendent might signal a renaissance for Volkswagen vans. The new photos of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz show a modern all-electric version of the old Microbus. And make no mistake, this is a comparison encouraged by the folks at Volkswagen. While the vehicle is brand new, VW hopes it will take you down memory lane just as well as it does the highway.
The new images show the European short-wheelbase version of the ID.Buzz built on VW’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform. The low profile of the MEB platform allows for more usable interior space while also meeting impact safety standards. There isn’t an official power output number yet, but the vehicle is expected to have at least 295-hp with a 250-mile range, according to Car and Driver.
New bus, old sentiments
There’s no mistaking the styling cues that connect the ID.Buzz with the old Bus. The vehicle, available in both passenger and cargo models, features an oversized VW logo and optional two-color paint schemes.
Scott Keogh, CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, calls the ID.Buzz “our magical, modern microbus” that combines “the love of the past with the brilliance of the future.”
Sustainability is a large part of the ID.Buzz design. For example, there’s no leather used in the interior. Instead, a leather-like polyurethane is being used for the steering wheel. The fabric for the seat covers and roof liner uses fiber made from 10 percent collected ocean plastic and 90 percent recycled PET bottles. Volkswagen also says that when batteries reach their end of life, you can return them.
Interestingly, the ID.Buzz is not the first Bus with an electric drivetrain. That honor goes to a T2 van on display at the Hannover Trade Fair 50 years ago. According to VW, that vehicle had a range of 52 miles.
Sales for European models of the ID.Buzz begin this summer. However, if you want to hit the roads of the U.S., you’ll have a wait. A long wheelbase model will be coming to America in 2024 featuring a seven-passenger configuration. Until then, you might want to start planning some future road trips. As a 1978 print ad for the original said, “It’s more fun to take the Bus.”
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