Volkswagen ID Buzz: four ways it rethinks the iconic van
We explore the most intriguing features of Volkswagen’s newest all-electric vehicle, and see how it re-imagines the van and passenger carrier of the future, today...
Since first being unveiled as a stunning concept car in 2017, the all-electric Volkswagen ID Buzz has been one of the most hotly anticipated vehicles in any category. Finally, it’s here.
Launched as both a practical five-seat ID Buzz passenger carrier and a hard-working Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo panel van, it combines dazzling modern-retro looks that hark back to the T1 Bulli of the 1950s, an advanced zero-emissions all-electric powertrain with impressive rapid charging capabilities, oodles of versatile cargo and passenger space, and the latest in advanced safety and infotainment technology.
With deliveries of the ID Buzz starting in 2022, here are all the reasons it should be on your shortlist – whether you’re looking for a family car that thinks bigger, or a spacious and highly capable work van that helps you take your business to the next level.
The Volkswagen T1 ‘Bulli’ of the 1950s is an instantly-recognisable icon, thanks to its rounded edges, V-shaped bonnet, split-screen windscreen, two-tone paint and enormous ‘VW’ badging. When it comes to the all-new ID Buzz, the design team have paid homage to the T1, while injecting stunning modern style.
Sporting crisp full-width LEDs front and rear, sweeping curves, sharp lines, optional two-tone paint and an oversized ‘VW’ badge, the styling of the ID Buzz is as futuristic as it is evocatively iconic. Whether in passenger carrier, or Cargo guise, it’s sure to turn heads.
“The ID Buzz brings a lot of endearing charm and affinity with people back onto the road”, says Jozef Kaban, Head of Volkswagen Design. “It’s timeless, sustainable and yet also extremely functional – that makes it unique. The design is simple and strong.”
Inside, the dazzling style continues. Big windows give the interior of the ID. Buzz an airy spacious feel, while the two-tone colour interior perfectly complements the exterior paintwork.
The dashboard of the ID Buzz is totally unique from any other Volkswagen vehicle thanks to its crisp, minimalist design. Populated with lounge-like materials, the interior is a comfortable and relaxing place to be, while the high-rise driver’s seating position (almost directly above the front axle) gives a commanding view of the road ahead.
Up front, the 5.3-inch Digital Cockpit display and 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen help make the interior of the ID Buzz futuristic and functional, while optional 30-colour ambient lighting means you can change the lighting to suit your mood. Finally, if you’ve got keen eyes, you might just find a few ‘easter eggs’ throughout the cabin – such as a winking face, or an ID Buzz silhouette.
Part hard-working. Part fun. All Buzz.
As we’ve said, the all-new VW ID Buzz will take two forms at launch – a practical and fun five-seat passenger carrier, and a hard-working panel van. In the future a long-wheelbase seven-seater will join the line-up, as will an all-new camper van.
Thanks to the wheel-on-each-corner design of the ID Buzz and the all-electric MEB platform on which it is based, both the ID Buzz passenger carrier and the ID Buzz Cargo have an incredibly tight turning circle of a mere 11 metres – that’s the same as a VW Golf. They also maximise interior space like no other vehicle on the market.
Available with three seats as standard – and the option of two individual seats – the cabin of the VW ID Buzz Cargo is as relaxing and fun as in the passenger carrier, with all the functionality van drivers have come to expect from hard-working Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
In the ID Buzz Cargo, the cabin is separated from the rear with a partition that can be equipped with a window and/or a handy loading hatch. In the back, 3.9m3 of storage space and 2208mm of load length, 1732mm of load width (1230mm between the wheel arches) and 1257mm of load height mean there’s enough space for two Euro pallets. Fastening rails and six lashing eyes help keep your cargo tied down, while a wide-opening barn doors or optional tailgate, and the two sliding side doors, will make loading and unloading a breeze.
The ID Buzz Cargo has an interior payload of up to 650kg, while a further 100kg can be transported on the roof. And the ID Buzz Cargo has another card up its sleeve… A nifty ‘underload function’ provides an additional 45cm of loading length through a channel underneath the passenger seat – great for those awkward longer items.
Throughout the cabin in both versions of the ID Buzz are a wealth of useful cubbies, shelves, pockets and trays for pens, tools, phones and just about anything else. Up to seven USB-C ports mean all passengers can stay charged up, while the innovative ‘Buzz Box’ between the two front seats is a detachable centre console that houses cup holders and an ice-scraper – as well as anything else you’d like to put in there.
In the back of the passenger ID Buzz, three spacious seats and oodles of room means passengers will arrive at their destination more refreshed than when they left. Behind the rear bench, a vast 1121 litres of storage space mean there’s plenty of room for a weekend away with the family. Want to transport even more stuff? Fold the 60:40-split rear bench to reveal a canyon-like 2205 litres of space.
Sustainable to drive; sustainable to make
One of the biggest talking points surrounding the ID Buzz is its all-electric powertrain, sporting a 77kWh battery as standard – although bigger and smaller battery models are on the horizon. The ID Buzz’s rear-mounted motor generates 204ps and 310Nm of instant electric torque – plenty of grunt for ferrying the family or hauling cargo.
An official range figure isn’t yet available, but 170kW fast-charging capabilities will see the ID. Buzz get from 5% to 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes – just enough time for a family lunch stop at the services, or a coffee break between jobs.
The ID Buzz also supports innovative bi-directional charging capabilities. This means that it can directly power household appliances, charge your phone or even top-up other batteries. The ID Buzz also offers a no-faff Plug & Charge feature. This clever technology eliminates the hassle of downloading numerous apps or ordering multiple charging cards to pay for your juice. Simply plug in, and the ID Buzz will communicate directly with the charger, exchanging all necessary data for your quick and easy charge.
All-electric has other benefits, too. Cheap overnight tariffs mean you could save significantly on fuel bills compared to a petrol or diesel equivalent, while exemptions from ULEZ and congestion charges make the ID Buzz Cargo hugely cost-effective for urban-based businesses.
Inside, the ID Buzz features a wealth of sustainable materials. The steering wheel, for example, is made of synthetic leather, while some parts of the seat covers, floor coverings, and roof liners are made from recycled materials such as PET bottles.
Advanced driving technology
Stylish, efficient, and endlessly versatile, the number of strings to the ID Buzz’s bow increases the more you learn. But one of its most glistening facets is the wealth of infotainment and safety technology on board – with 30 driver assistance systems that help keep you and your passengers or cargo safe.
In the cabin, the crisp 5.3-inch Digital Cockpit provides important driving information, while the vast optional 12-inch Discover Pro infotainment screen makes navigation and flicking through your favourite music a breeze. The full suite of Volkswagen We Connect subscriptions services are available, while app-to-car connectivity through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay make the infotainment as entertaining as it is intuitive.
Dynamic Road Sign Display also helps by reading road signs and projecting the speed limit right in front of you.
In passenger carrier guise, the ID Buzz will feature the interactive ID Light. This narrow illuminated strip stretches across the dashboard and conveys important safety messages via coloured light. For example, a signal in the right-hand area of the strip warns, depending on its colour, of an obstruction in this area. A full red light means beware or brake.
The advanced Car2X warning system allows the ID Buzz to communicate with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure via an independent cellular network to provide the driver with live hazard warnings. This technology is constantly updated over-the-air to ensure the ID Buzz is always running the latest software.
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