Volkswagen ID BUZZ: Iconic Microbus Reborn As 270 Mile All-Electric Vehicle

4 months ago by Jay Cole 54

Volkswagen debuts its latest vision of the microbus - the I.D. Buzz. Headed for production just ~70 years after the original Type 2

Volkswagen debuts its latest vision of the microbus – the I.D. Buzz. Headed for production just ~70 years after the original Type 2

VW ID Buzz: 111 kWh battery, good for ~270 miles of range (EPA/600 km on NEDC)

VW ID Buzz: 111 kWh battery, good for ~270 miles of range (EPA/600 km on NEDC)

As promised Volkswagen has unveiled its new all-electric microbus concept based on its iconic predecessor.

The ID BUZZ rides on the company’s new MEB architecture (think early BUDD-e concept and ID concept, the latter headed into production in the near future), so you know it will be packing a big battery and a lot of range.

Sure enough, VW says that the expected range of the I.D. BUZZ is 270 miles (EPA, 600 km on NEDC).

And all this range despite having a vehicle length of more than 16 feet (194.6 inches), being more than 6 feet in height, and likely having the CdA equal to a pick-up truck; so this isn’t your average EV for sure.

Total size of the battery is a massive 111 kWh.

The VW ID Hatchback (seen at left) arrives in 2020, the VW ID BUZZ possible ~2 years thereafter

The VW ID Hatchback (seen at left) arrives in 2020, the VW ID BUZZ possible ~2 years thereafter

Best of all?   VW says they will build it, and it could arrive in showrooms just after the ID concept hatchback heads into production.  The only drawback of that statement is that the ID concept arrives in ~2020, so the ETA on the microbus is 2022 – a painful 5 years away.

As for all the autonomous features shown to be present on the ID BUZZ (despite no evidence of any of the physical equipment on the concept – cameras, lidar, etc), that likely won’t be ready for production until ~3 years later, in 2025.

Inside the ID BUZZ

Inside the ID BUZZ

“The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture. That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. By 2025 we want to be selling one million of these vehicles annually. We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen.” – Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman for the Volkswagen brand

…moving on.

The I.D. BUZZ comfortably seats eightm and adds two luggage compartments; and because it is scheduled to arrive so far in the future it has all the aforementioned autonomous “I.D. Pilot” features one would expect.

Like being able to swivel the driver’s seat 180 degrees while in motion to have a chit-chat with family and friends riding along in the back.  For more information on all the fanciful autonomy tech, check out the full VW presser we have added below.

VW ID BUZZ (doors open)

VW ID BUZZ (doors open)

Mechanically the I.D. BUZZ is all-wheel drive and is powered by a couple electric motors, putting out a combined 275 kW/369 horsepower – which translates to a peppy 0-60 mph run in about 5 seconds.

VW notes that the BUZZ could easy be scaled down (or up) thanks to the flexible MEB platform, and floated the suggestion of also offering a single motor, rear-wheel-drive setup, putting out ~268 horsepower and utilizing just a 83 kWh battery if the point of sale region demanded it.

Another look inside the ID BUZZ

Another look inside the ID BUZZ

“The I.D. BUZZ is not only huge inside, but its technical concept makes it one of the world’s most comfortable cars. It has a silent drive system and an extremely long wheelbase of 129.9 inches. The floor-mounted battery lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity and delivers ideal weight distribution.

The suspension layout—including multi-link rear suspension with integrated drive units and decoupled subframes at front and rear, as well as air suspension at the rear axle using electronically controlled dampers—delivers premium class comfort, high cornering power, and ideal acoustics.”

As for VW’s vision for DC fast charging in 2022, it says the BUZZ can get a 80% boost in just 30 minutes (using the CCS Combo protocol of course), thanks to the ability to accept rates of up to 150 kW.

Five years seems like a long time to wait, but if Volkswagen follows through on what they have just debuted, it might just be worth it.


Full VW Press Release and Specs (far, far below) on the ID BUZZ:

I.D. BUZZ CONCEPT MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT

VW ID BUZZ

VW ID BUZZ

Versatile, zero-emissions, all-wheel drive vehicle is a Microbus for the future

  • All-electric driving range of up to 270 miles, comparable to gasoline engined cars
  • Maximum flexibility: I.D. electric drive system allows seating for up to eight and two luggage compartments
  • Focus on people: in the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” driving mode, the driver’s seat can be turned 180 degrees to face the rear
  • Traction for any terrain: electric all-wheel drive with two motors and 369 horsepower
  • Head-up display projects information via augmented reality
  • Vehicle features fully autonomous driving capability
  • Flexible center console with tablet display and Beats® Bluetooth® loudspeakers can be used outside the vehicle

Detroit, January 2017 — The era of electric mobility has begun, and Volkswagen will be shaping it with the I.D. BUZZ concept presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A Microbus for a new era, the electric concept forges links between the origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. The I.D. BUZZ, like the compact I.D. presented at the Paris Motor Show, is another new Volkswagen vehicle that gives compelling design to electric mobility and reflects a transformation of the brand and its models.

Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand, says: “The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture. That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. By 2025 we want to be selling one million of these vehicles annually. We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen.”

VW ID BUZZ - handy for those who like to type with CAPS LOCK on

VW ID BUZZ – also handy for those who like to type with CAPS LOCK on

The I.D. BUZZ zero-emissions vehicle conceptually follows the new Volkswagen brand strategy. Its claim is: “We make the future real.” Four fields of innovation form the basis for this strategy:

  • Smart Sustainability—Volkswagen is advancing the development of innovative high-volume electric car models
  • Automated Driving—Volkswagen will make cars even safer and more comfortable by means of autonomous driving
  • Intuitive Usability—Volkswagen is focusing on cars that are intuitive to operate and feature new display and control concepts
  • Connected Community—In the future, Volkswagen will interconnect humans, cars and the environment with a Volkswagen user identity

Volkswagen is showing just how multifaceted electric mobility can be in Detroit with the I.D. BUZZ concept vehicle—maximum space utilization with all-wheel drive, electric motors at the front and rear axles, a fully autonomous driving mode (“I.D. Pilot”) and a new generation of display elements and controls.

Just out at the local...scenic mountain range

Just out at the local…scenic mountain range

The “I.D. BUZZ” name was hardly an arbitrary choice. I.D. stands for “Identity,” “Idea,” “Individual,” “Intelligent” and “Iconic Design”. BUZZ, on the other hand, is a phonetic word play on “bus” and refers to the silent “buzzing” of the drive system.

“The I.D. BUZZ is a next-generation vehicle based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), offering comfort and plenty of space,” says Dr. Frank Welsch, Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management responsible for Development. “The overall concept of the I.D. BUZZ points the way to the future. This concept vehicle is the world’s first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be equipped with a fully autonomous driving mode. It carries the feeling of freedom of the Microbus over to a completely new era of mobility.”

VW ID BUZZ with expected "concepty" (technical term) interior

VW ID BUZZ with expected “concepty” (technical term) interior

Thanks to its MEB underpinnings, space utilization is better in the I.D. BUZZ than in any other electric vehicle. An excursion with two families over the weekend? A gig with the band in another city? A vacation trip with bikes and boards? Driving to a business meeting with colleagues who need to prepare on the way? None of these scenarios pose a problem with the multi-variable seating layout and interactive networking of the I.D. BUZZ. Using an extended MEB-XL platform, this concept vehicle—which is 194.6 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall—offers an extraordinarily spacious interior for its class.

The I.D. BUZZ is not only huge inside, but its technical concept makes it one of the world’s most comfortable cars. It has a silent drive system and an extremely long wheelbase of 129.9 inches. The floor-mounted battery lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity and delivers ideal weight distribution. The suspension layout—including multi-link rear suspension with integrated drive units and decoupled subframes at front and rear, as well as air suspension at the rear axle using electronically controlled dampers—delivers premium class comfort, high cornering power, and ideal acoustics.

The zero-emissions all-wheel drive system has a total output of 369 horsepower and an NEDC electric driving range of 600 kilometers (270 miles on a predicted U.S. driving cycle). One electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear each deliver a power output of 201 hp, distributed between the two axles by an “electric propshaft.” The I.D. BUZZ shown in Detroit can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds, with a governed top speed of 99 mph.

The vehicle’s 111 kWh battery can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity within 30 minutes using the Combined Charging System (CCS) or an inductive charging interface, with a charging rate of 150 kW. As an alternative, the battery can be charged from any conventional household outlet and at charging stations. The all-wheel drive configuration is just one of several that are conceivable. Thanks to the MEB, it would be just as easy to equip the I.D. BUZZ with a rear-wheel drive setup producing up to 268 hp and a smaller 83 kWh battery, depending on the region and purpose of use.

VW ID BUZZ: expected to market ~24 months after the ID hatchback (left in front)

VW ID BUZZ: expected to market ~24 months after the ID hatchback (left in front)

Automated Driving
The I.D. BUZZ is the world’s first fully autonomous multi-purpose vehicle. A slight push on the steering wheel makes it retract and merge into the instrument panel, switching the I.D. BUZZ from manual control to the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” mode that could make it into production by 2025. In this mode, the wheel is decoupled from the steering gear via a newly developed steering column system. The ambient lighting then switches from white light (“Drive”) to mood lighting that is warm and relaxed. At the same time, the distribution of ambient lighting is extended to the rear seating area. Simultaneously, the status of the I.D. BUZZ can be seen at all times on the tablet and the augmented reality head-up display.

Gah, so much concept right here...

Gah, so much concept right here…

Now driving on its own, the zero-emissions concept has already activated its onboard laser scanners. Four of them extend from the roof in “I.D. Pilot” mode. The cleanly styled roof sensors call attention to the fully autonomous mode by indirect lighting.

The I.D. BUZZ is not only able to detect other road users with its laser sensors, but also with the assistance of ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, side area view cameras and a front camera. Traffic data is also continually acquired and compared with the vehicle data via the cloud. Fully autonomous mode is deactivated by touching the steering wheel or by pressing the brake or accelerator pedal.

Volkswagen User-ID
I.D. knows who will be at the wheel, thanks to the Volkswagen User-ID. This is an individual profile that stores the personal seat and air conditioning settings, favorite radio stations and songs, sound system settings, exterior sound, configuration of the navigation system, type of ambient lighting and contact information for the driver’s friends and business associates. This profile can be retrieved securely via the cloud.

Consequently, the I.D. BUZZ also recognizes which person is entering the car or wants to take the steering wheel at any given time via the authorized user’s smartphone—the Digital Key. As soon as a person approaches the vehicle, the sensor surfaces for opening the door light up. If the person’s hand is very close to the surface, that individual door is opened. Using the Volkswagen User-ID and a relevant smartphone app, passengers in the vehicle can also control infotainment functions and input intermediate destinations into the navigation system. The route is shown on a tablet.

How many pictures do you need of the 270 mile VW microbus? What is going on above it? Who knows.

How many pictures do you need of the 270 mile VW microbus? What is going on above it? Are those bug catchers?  Seriously we must know.

Exterior Design 
The original Microbus is a legend all over the world and forms a global community. Although the I.D. BUZZ is designed for a new era, it would fit in perfectly with its predecessors.

Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, says: “The I.D. BUZZ is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels; rather, we have taken the logical next step forward in development using what is in all likelihood the most successful design of its kind in the world. The entire design is extremely clean with its homogeneous surfaces and monolithic silhouette. The future and origins of Volkswagen design DNA combine here to create a new icon.”

Ok, the VW BUZZ with night illumination is cool, we wil give you that Volkswagen

Ok, the VW BUZZ with night illumination is cool, we wil give you that Volkswagen

The best example of the interplay of familiar and new elements is the front end with its characteristic ”V” and likeable ”face”—it’s clearly a Microbus, but a completely new interpretation. Oliver Stefani, Head of Volkswagen Exterior Design, says, “Instead of the round headlights used in the original model, in designing the I.D. BUZZ we opted for slender LED systems, which not only turn night into day, but also interactively communicate with other road users and pedestrians.” Similar to the compact I.D., the bumpers also integrate a matte aluminum honeycomb design, with illuminated outer sections.

Extremely short body overhangs also define the vehicle. This applies equally to the roofline with its charismatic front overhang and three stylized air vents in the rear roof pillars, a small tribute to the T1. Each detail has, however, been re-interpreted and implemented in a new context.

(insert pithy caption about concepts and their funky interiors here)

(insert pithy caption about concepts and their funky interiors here)

At the front, wrap-around ambient lighting forms a new era equivalent of chrome trim. It is actually an accent strip made of matte aluminum that is embedded in what designers call a sharp undercut. Indirect ambient lighting has been integrated into this full wraparound undercut, which also forms the ”V” of the front hood. When it is dark outside, this creates a unique light signature together with the backlit front and rear VW logos and the lighting elements in the front bumpers.

The I.D. BUZZ is also unmistakable from the rear. Here, the slender full-LED lights and large painted surfaces make up the iconic design. The tailgate extends far down into the bumper to give a low load sill height of just 23.6 inches. Thanks to its compact electric drive, the I.D. BUZZ not only offers a rear luggage compartment of between 23.3 to 162.5 cubic feet, but also a front trunk of 6.1 cubic feet. The doors and trunklids are power operated: opening the tailgate, front doors and rear sliding doors is initiated by sensors outside the vehicle. Thanks to the Digital Key, all the user needs to do is hold his or her hand over a marked area for entry.

There are clear design parallels to the I.D. shown in Paris. The front LED lights, wrap-around LED taillights, homogeneously integrated bumpers, side sills stylistically raised at the center of the door area, laser scanners on the roof and the aluminum-alloy wheel design combine to form the design insignia of Volkswagen’s future electric mobility.

There are few cars in the world that look as good in classic two-tone paint as the Microbus, which is why it was a must for the new I.D. BUZZ. The car is painted in Silver Metallic above the seam that integrates the ambient lighting and in Cyber Yellow Pearl Effect below that line. The yellow hue is also found on the sidewalls of the tires, while the 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are painted in Galvano Gray Metallic.

The I.D. BUZZ communicates with its surroundings via the LED lighting at the front end. The LED headlights interactively mimic the gestures of the human eye and thus interact with other traffic. The concept vehicle masters these light scenarios:

  • Parking. When all systems of the I.D. BUZZ are shut down it looks from the front as if its “eyes” are closed. When the I.D. BUZZ is parked, just a narrow, small LED strip is visible in the headlights.
  • Opening. When the I.D. is “awakened”, it greets its driver and passengers with a 360-degree light show. First, the Volkswagen logos light up. This is followed by the wrap-around ambient lighting. In the final phase of this light show, the I.D. BUZZ opens its “eyes.”
  • Driving. The Volkswagen logos, wrap-round ambient lighting, Daytime Running Lights and the LED headlights are always active while driving. As the car accelerates, the “eyes” adjust to the higher speed by adopting a more dynamic light signature.
  • Automated. A distinctive feature of the fully autonomous driving mode is that the laser scanners in the roof are extended and illuminated. As the car speeds up, the LED “eyes” look ahead, giving the car a sportier appearance. In addition, the “eyes” are interactive in the fully autonomous driving mode. If the I.D. BUZZ wants to turn, for instance, the LED headlights look in the direction the car is going to turn. To top it off, if the vehicle detects people at the side of the road, it looks at them. Through this interaction, the Volkswagen alerts pedestrians and cyclists to its presence.
That's it, no more pictures, but I mean really do you need more right now. We promise to take some live shots and video from the NAIAS show floor from its live debut shortly.

That’s it, no more pictures, but I mean really do you need more right now. We promise to take some live shots and video from the NAIAS show floor from its live debut shortly.

Interior Design
“The design of the concept places people as the focus; it should appeal to them and invite them to come in,” says Klaus Bischoff. Awaiting them there is an interior that combines the world of the automobile with the atmosphere of a lounge. Tomasz Bachorski, Head of Interior Design of the Volkswagen brand, explains the next era of interior design: “From now on, we will be networking the vehicle much more intensively to make it more interactive. The interior will become a sort of family room, a mobile place where you feel at home.”

As a result, the classic cockpit no longer exists in the I.D. BUZZ. In place of traditional instruments or controls is an intuitively operated cockpit consisting of:

  • Touch-sensitive steering wheel (multifunction steering wheel with capacitive surfaces)
  • Augmented reality head-up display
  • “I.D. Box” center console (including a tablet usable outside the vehicle)

In the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the front seats can be electrically unlatched and rotated so they face the rear, after the “I.D. Box” multifunctional center console is moved rearward. The seating system is flexibly designed to be like the living space at home or a lounge area. This versatility is based on a seat rail system that is integrated in the flat floor and on adjustable and folding seats. The seatbacks of the individual second row seats can be folded to form tables. At stops, the third row can be made into a bed, enabling the I.D. BUZZ to be used for overnight voyages. When the trip is resumed, clever detail solutions make travel more pleasant, such as softly padded rear side sun visors that can be moved and are designed so that a passenger can lean on them. Individually placeable cushions also underscore the cozy atmosphere of the interior, which is flooded with light thanks to its large windows and two-part panoramic roof.

Totally lied before, we are putting up another picture of the ID BUZZ. This is the last one. Promise.

Totally lied before, we are putting up another picture of the ID BUZZ. This is the last one. Promise.

The warm interior colors are also in keeping with the lounge character. For instance, the dashpad in front of the driver and front passenger transitions from Magnet Metallic to Moon White Metallic, and the dashpad and door panel structures are illuminated by the ambient lighting as well. Stylish details include:

  • Wood floor. The floor is made of fine, Silver Birch wood. The bright color underscores the cozy character of the interior. In the rear seating area, aluminum inlays in the wood take up the honeycomb pattern of the dashpad and touch-sensitive steering wheel as well as the front bumper.
  • Door trim. The top sections of the doors are covered with sophisticated metallic leatherette. The interplay of color is underscored by the transition from the darker driver’s area to the brighter passenger zone. The designers have upgraded the lower sections of the door trim panels with a cream-colored knitted fabric throughout the rear seating area.
  • Seat fabrics. Seats are covered in an innovative knit fabric that features a graduated honeycomb pattern. The refined knitting technique used to produce the individual diamond shapes allows a light metallic background material show through. Accentuated yellow details such as piping and seat belts showcase the fresh look of the I.D. BUZZ while creating a connection between exterior and interior.

As soon as the driver’s seat is occupied, the steering wheel, which is retracted into the dashpad in parking mode, extends out, and the indicators and buttons on the steering wheel light up simultaneously. In parallel, the I.D. BUZZ activates the augmented reality head-up display and the tablet in the “I.D. Box.” The ambient lighting also greets the driver. Close the doors, buckle up, press the brake pedal and select a gear and the I.D. BUZZ is immediately ready to start. The concept car is shut off by the “P” button on the steering wheel. When finished, the steering wheel retracts flush into the cockpit panel.

The steering wheel of the I.D. BUZZ does not have any spokes. The wheel, trimmed with Nappa leather, is more of an interactive touchpad. This touch-sensitive steering wheel is a new concept, which allows the driver to operate the drive modes (P, R, N and D), turn signals and various menu functions as well as settings for the head-up display via touch-sensitive areas on its surface.

The outer region of the touchpad has a honeycomb-like light signature, as does the dashpad ahead of the driver and front passenger. Pressing on the illuminated VW logo in the middle of the touch-sensitive steering wheel initiates a switch between the “Drive” mode and “I.D. Pilot” mode; the steering wheel then retracts or extends accordingly.

The “I.D. Box” fits the character of the I.D. BUZZ perfectly. When the vehicle is being driven by someone, the I.D. Box is positioned between the front seats. In this case, the integrated tablet in the console is positioned to serve as a display and control surface for the driver and front passenger. The I.D. Box is also equipped with loudspeakers from Beats®, which are interconnected with the passengers’ smartphones and the sound system via Bluetooth®. When the driver switches to the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the entire “I.D. Box” moves towards the rear. Other console features include cupholders and a folding table. The console tablet (like the Beats speakers) is easy to unsnap and remove from the vehicle.

The Volkswagen I.D. lets the I.D. BUZZ know who the driver is. The individual vehicle settings are configured accordingly, and features such as the person’s calendar are shown on the tablet. The I.D. BUZZ also knows the driver’s friends via the Volkswagen I.D. Based on this information, the car might recommend meeting with friends or suggest activities that would fit into the day’s schedule.

In “I.D. Pilot” autonomous mode, the system informs the driver on the tablet about changes to the calendar, for instance. If the I.D. BUZZ passes one of the driver’s favorite shops or a favorite restaurant, the car informs the driver via the tablet about the current offerings at these personal points of interest. A new era of interactive and personalized online services is beginning with the I.D. BUZZ.

Like the compact I.D., the I.D. BUZZ is equipped with an augmented reality head-up display. Information such as navigation directions are projected as virtual images from 23 to 49 feet ahead of the car. The effect is astonishingly realistic. Directions are projected via augmented reality to show exactly where the driver is heading. Thanks to the head-up display, the navigation instructions are now part of three-dimensional surroundings that the driver can experience. Drivers can use the touch-sensitive steering wheel to modify the type and amount of information shown, adapting the system to their individual needs.

Three levels of information density are available here:

  • Level 1: “Navigation,” “Speed” and “Battery indicator”
  • Level 2: Level 1 plus “Phone” (in “Drive” mode) and “Local offerings” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode)
  • Level 3: Levels 1 and 2 plus “Friends” along the route (in “Drive” mode) and “Messages” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode)

There are no rearview mirrors in the I.D. BUZZ. Cameras and a display have taken over that function. Where there would normally be a rearview mirror, there is a screen called the e-Mirror. Here, a monitor combines data from the exterior mirror cameras on the left and right of the vehicle and from a camera that faces directly rearward. Doing away with the side mirrors improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

The lighting mood of the interior also changes according to the mode. In “Drive”, illuminated elements are lit in white. When the driver activates “I.D. Pilot”, they switch over to a warm mood color. In addition, the ambient lighting and touch-sensitive steering wheel assume warning and indicator functionality. In “Drive” mode, if the driver wants to change lanes while another vehicle is alongside, a warning signal is shown on the relevant side of the dashpad. This means that the LED warning indicators for the Blind Spot Monitor, which are located in the door mirrors in today’s vehicles, migrate into the interior where they are even more obvious to the driver.

Some additional technical specs we figured we should add in on the ID BUZZ:

  • Length: 194.5 in
  • Width: 77.9 in
  • Height: 77.3 in
  • Wheelbase: 129.9 in
  • Track width, front: 68.0 in
  • Track width, rear: 67.2 in
  • Turning circle: 34.9 ft
  • Wheels / tires: 235/45 R22
  • Electric motor, rear: 150 – 200 kW (201 – 268 hp)
  • Electric motors, all-wheel drive: 150 kW (201 hp), front and rear
  • System power, all-wheel drive: 275 kW (369 hp)
  • Acceleration, 0-100km/h: 5.3 s (all-wheel drive)
  • Acceleration, 0-60 mph: 5.0 s (all-wheel drive)
  • Top speed: 160 km/h / 99 mph (limited)
  • Battery energy capacity: 83 – 111 kWh
  • Charging power: 150 kW (DC); 11 kW (AC / Inductive)
  • Battery charging to 80% SOC: approx. 30 min. (15 km/min)
  • Driving range (EU; NEDC): 450 – 600 km

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54 responses to "Volkswagen ID BUZZ: Iconic Microbus Reborn As 270 Mile All-Electric Vehicle"

  1. speculawyer says:

    “Best of all? VW says they will build it, and it could arrive in showrooms just after the ID concept hatchback heads into production. The only drawback of that statement is that the ID concept arrives in ~2020, so the ETA on the microbus is 2022 – a painful 5 years away.”

    Anything listed as 5 years away isn’t serious. That’s just FUD that can easily be cancelled.

    1. DNAinaGoodWay says:

      +1, and so much detail already. Ah well, maybe Mr. Ghosn will bring a 60 kWh eNV200 to the US soon.

      1. Or…maybe a 120 kWh eNV300? The NV200 larger sibling, in a large battery EV, or even a 60 kWh PHEV variant!

    2. no comment says:

      i generally agree with your statement except for the allegation that VW is not serious. 5 years means that they are doing serious planning, but they want to observe how the market develops before they make a product commitment.

      but as you noted, a company does not make a serious product launch announcement 5 years in advance.

      1. speculawyer says:

        I’m not saying VW is not serious, just that this product is not serious as a real vehicle. How many times has VW/Audi/Porsche announced and then delayed or cancelled various plug-in cars? Too many to take a 5 year away car serious.

    3. pjwood1 says:

      I talk about what VW **does**. Couldn’t hold back over the holiday, at a car gathering when the latest ~70k cars came up. I stepped in: “no, those weren’t the 3.0 TDIs. They were the 2015 2.0’s, whose “fix” includes replacing the DPF after one year.” (laughing)

      You can buy full PHEV battery systems, for the price of VW diesel exhausts. No joke, and you now have the “joy” of witnessing 4-digit bits replaced every year. At least, that’s what happens when you get your filtering up to spec. It’s enough to make your ID spin.

    4. todor ivanov says:

      +1

    5. Sublime says:

      More concerning than the release date is that it seems to get further away every year. It was rumored to be 3 years away, 2 years ago. Then 4 years away last year. Now it’s 5 years away. Will it be 6 years away next year?

      1. Hauer says:

        Makes sense. The universe ist expanding faster and faster, so everything will always be further away in the future.

        I am TIRED of 5+ years carots on a stick.

  2. Ken says:

    Sigh. We’ll make vehicles with 2015 tech in 6 years. That’s like a politician promising to do things 2 years after their term ends. Not impressed.

    1. no comment says:

      i don’t understand your analogy, VW is not planning to go out of business…and no, failure to introduce this car immediately will not result in VW going out of business.

      1. Hauer says:

        They should just stop boring us with things they do NOT commit to make.

  3. John in AA says:

    I’m actually starting to feel sorry for VW.

  4. Finnish ev boy says:

    This is just miserable underestimating of all the people who buy cars.It´s just so tragicomic to show pictures of something what you´re going to publish in ~ 5 years. You can´t be serious? LOL.

  5. Lou Grinzo says:

    Again:

    1. Car companies know the long-term trend: Electrified cars.

    2. They’re terrified of jumping in too soon, before the Battery Singularity (see below).

    3. They’re terrified of being left behind if/as other companies get a sizable lead on them in tech., experience, and IP.

    4. So they’ll respond to this mess they hate in a number of ways, and for some, it will be vaporware. Lots and lots of vaporware.

    I’ve started calling the point where batteries drop enough to build cheap, long range EVs, something like a $25k Bolt, possibly with 275 to 300 miles/charge, before any gov’t incentive, the Battery Singularity. Car companies don’t know exactly when that will arrive, and they want no part of trying to manage a product line heavy in EVs when we cross that price point.

    This is why I’m so happy when I hear of Tesla or other companies building huge battery factories that will ramp up production volumes and keep driving down prices. The quicker prices drop and the more reliable the battery supply becomes, the more comfortable car companies will be about making immense bets on EVs.

    1. no comment says:

      5. if VW actually did announce this minibus, and stated how much it would cost, the market for it would be vaporware. 🙂

      there are numerous reasons for hesitation by automakers. one reason is that they don’t know that the BEVs are indeed the long term trend. that’s why many auto companies (with the exception of tesla) are evaluating other technologies. auto companies are businesses that have to sell product. to do that they have to make sure that there is sufficient demand for making the product. “sufficient demand” means a market bigger than EV enthusiasts. when it comes to BEVs, size of the battery is not the only consideration; recharge time is another big factor.

      1. Hauer says:

        Those waiting forever for the perfect woman to pick them up tend to sleep alone.

        I am missing real commitment from those old guys.

  6. Lad says:

    VW and Nissan run about even on the production of vapor.

    VW is late to the EV race; Nissan was early and almost a winner until they decided to go to sleep for five years and wait for the others to catch up.

    1. Sublime says:

      Nissan is the worldwide leader in EVs produced. VW has released a single compliance EV. There is no possible way those two are in the same class when it comes to vaporware.

      1. wavelet says:

        What’s the “single compliance EV”? eGolf? e-UP? (both with 2nd gen- versions announced).
        And do you not count PHEVs? Golf DSE, Passat GTE, Audi A3 e-tron? Audi Q7 e-tron? Porsche Panamera S-E? Porsche Cayenne S-E?

        All those are VW-group EVs selling now.

        Sure, VW steps on the gas too far (pun intended) as far as far-future announcements go, and they’re too slow on expanding the markets they sell in. But it’s not like they have no cars out.

        1. Hauer says:

          No, PHEVs don’t count.

  7. unlucky says:

    None of this is real. It’ll show right after the VW GX3 does.

  8. ev_drive says:

    Generally, I like the idea and it would sell well if they actually built it, however, the specs of self driving, yada, yada, yada, seem far fetched at this point for VW. Just get a basic model on the road before trying to be everything to everyone.

    My eyes hurt from the color. Lime green and Lemon yellow are my two least favorite colors. Luckily, this thing is 5-8 years out at least so I won’t have to see them on the road for all while and have my eyes offended too soon =/

    1. spice says:

      Me too – and assuming they do (?) I hope they keep it simple/basic and low cost which was their undeniable success formula for the earlier beetle/microbus.

  9. DBMoore says:

    I’ve been a fan of VW for decades. The fact is they make great cars. I believe VW is serious in their intent to switch to heavy production of electric vehicles. I choose to believe that the ID and the ID BUZZ are realistic examples of what VW sees as future product intent. Unlike the previous VW group announcements of electrification. Sure, things will change between now and then, but they have to start somewhere in this long involved process. Why should they be secretive about their plans? Let the world know VW is going to take the lead usable electric vehicles.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      “VW is serious in their intent to switch to heavy production of electric vehicles. ”

      Obstacles, like core engine production being in Germany, the high labor per unit rates VW wrestles with (~600k people), Lower Saxony’s (or labor’s) strong presence on the board and German labor laws that make the U.S. look enviable, are all things slowing them down. The company also has a bit of a “coming out” problem recognizing pollution (be it CO2, or NOx).

      Gonna be a long time, I think. That’s OK. Plenty seem happy to pass up an 18KWh Volt, for a 8-10KWh VW variant or an EV with half the range of the Bolt.

    2. Mark C says:

      Seems a bit late to the party to “take the lead.”

      They are world class at future product announcements though!

  10. Please build this VW! The perfect van for interior BC, where we already import all of the Japanese 4wd drive vans. (Seriously.) just add ability to increase suspension to 8″ at lower speeds and you’ve sold me one 🙂

  11. 2013Volt says:

    It is a shame dieselgate ruined Volkswagen for me but it will take a long time before I forgive them for that which is unfortunate because I would buy this in a heartbeat. I have always loved the VW bus and this one looks perfect to me.

    1. Hauer says:

      IIRC Elon “promised” us a bussy thing inspired by VW studies.
      Should be here befor the “original”.

  12. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “VW says they will build it…”

    Even if we ignore the fact that Volkswagen, even more than other auto makers, has developed a reputation for claiming they’re gonna put a concept car into production and then not following through, this isn’t believable.

    The original VW Microbus was sold in an era in which there were no minivans or SUVs to compete with it. Who would buy such an oversized, awkwardly shaped vehicle these days? The drag coefficient on that must be abysmal!

    I predict, and I think it’s a pretty safe prediction, that this will become a production car sometime after pigs learn to fly.

  13. Mike I says:

    Somebody cc Putin on this. I can see converting gas stations to hybrid charging stations soon.

  14. Volt! says:

    Am I the only one that just completely disregards things like this? Seriously

    Talk is super cheap

  15. J P DeCaen says:

    I wonder if VW marketing types read the comments on this site. Perhaps the skepticism will egg them on. I’d love to see beat up versions of these as Cali surf wagons in twenty years. Sigh… “Patience” as Yoda said.

  16. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

    So “wait five years before deciding to buy an electric micro-bus/big van from an other brand, please”. A bigger Nissan NV-200 may come sooner and should be less expansive, not to speak about the time line of Tesla Van and Micro-Bus that no one knows about.

    And a 111 kWh battery with 600 km NEDC for such a big vehicle? I never see a 270 miles EPA car (Model S 85S) doing a 600 km NEDC, maybe 500 km, but not much more.

  17. Someone out there says:

    That looks great but producing it 5 years from now is too far away! This thing could easily be a huge seller today.

  18. Steven says:

    Don’t tell me what something “is” or “does” until it’s in stock at dealerships.

    Until then, everything is “planned” or “intended”.

  19. floydboy says:

    CONCEPT MAN vs CONCEPTOR!

  20. Mister G says:

    YAWN NO NEWS HERE.

  21. John Norris says:

    Same specs as Jaguar’s I-Pace.
    AWD
    2 x 200hp motors
    0-60 in ~5.5

    Except Jag available 2018 not 2022!

  22. VazzedUp says:

    I’d be excited if this were to be released in 2017 or 2018, but 2022…its just vaporware again.

  23. taser54 says:

    The VW electric van, with 390hp is far overpowered. There is absolutely no need for 0-60 in 5 seconds in a transport van. Keep the AWD, lower the 0-60 to 9 seconds. It could easily get by with 250hp and get much better range.

    What does this design portend? A $80k+ starting price? I can see few takers as it currently is designed.

    1. Arnold Gordon says:

      This kind of power is required for carrying a full load of 8 adult passengers and their luggage, and yield appropriate levels of performance thru safety in overtaking and everyday driving. In a commercial application where this bus would be deployed in shuttling passengers to an airport or hotel etc. for example, performance is important – maximize the number of trips and payload safety. In an EV, where full torque is available from standstill, driving at less than full available power will preserve the range availability, while providing great dynamic driving.

    2. Bill Howland says:

      Taser54: I totally agree…

      VW used to be SUPERPOPULAR in the US in the 1960’s. Apparently, no one in Wolfsburg wants to look at the type of cars they made then.

      Manual shift, 4 speed transmission, 40-60 hp depending on whether a beetle or microbus.

      But the Microbus’s design was 1000 kg (2200 pounds) payload.

      Back then, the big three out in detroit laughed out loud:

      “HaHa, a 1.1 ton vehicle with a 59 hp engine? Are they totally nuts? And a crappy (but efficient) heater, and 6 volts no less – no one will ever even go near one let alone purchase one”.

      Any of these in tolerable condition go for over $100,000 today.. So much for no demand.

      So what EV offerings do we have today? 0-60 in 5 seconds? A Budd-E now an ID-Buzz?

      Plus the fact that the current bunch of clowns running the joint can’t tell the TRUTH about their Emissions Rigging no matter how many times you ask them.

      That for years alone will keep me away from VW or Robert Bosch products.

      What is needed is a simple to operate decent range 60 hp electric – possibly with some range of optional charging facilities for those who do/don’t want them, and possibly a choice of battery sizes depending on how far the prospective customer wants to go.

      They could do this tomorrow if they wanted to because people on their own have made plenty of microbus ev conversions, without any enginneering teams behind them for support.

      A side issue is today’s safety requirements – but for the few thousands, they could get them declared experimental and have them waved for at least a little bit.

  24. Anon says:

    Maybe VW has gotten more serious lately about building an all electric minibus, since Tesla announced they planned to build their own?

  25. hpver says:

    I grew up riding in one of the original microbuses, so in a nostalgic kind of way I love the idea they are presenting.

    But the company today, not so much. Five years is a very long time. Far too long to sit and hold my breath for a company that has made blunders as big as dieselgate and that keeps proffering concepts and projections of the wonderful things it will do in the distant future without actually engineering something we can use this year.

  26. Arnold Gordon says:

    I don’t know where the five years comes from. The first Golf-sized I.D. is to be produced in late 2018 and delivered in 2019 as a 2020 model. This microbus BUZZ is to be produced in early-mid 2019 and launched in 2020 as a 2021 model. This information is from authoritative sources in the VW Group involved with the project. So, we have a good chance of seeing it in full production form in 3 years, not 5. Dealers in North America that previously sold diesels are clamoring for these cars, and VW is fast tracking their EV production direction accordingly.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      It all sounds good Mr. Gordon but those who subscribe to your philosophy were not the same types of people who drove the company in Wolfsburg to superstar popularity.

      The advertisements VW of America ran at the time capitalized on the fact that their customers wanted a simple, practical, reliable, fun to drive vehicle. They however, NEVER poked fun at any of their products, treating them all as carefully designed, serious vehicles, which of course, they were. The joke was on Detroit, and it took several bankruptcies to turn those arrogant yachts around.

      Later VW’s were high-powered, and had the latest gadgets, but leaked oil, burned oil much too fast, were mechanic’s nightmares, and couldn’t hold a candle to the reliability of old. Now VW is slowly trying to climb out of the basement in sales numbers here in the U.S.

      Its uncanny how it never dawns on overpaid big-wigs why people have stopped buying their products.

    2. no comment says:

      i can’t help but be a bit skeptical of your assertions. if you have the inside information that you purport to have, then you should have an idea of how much this bus would cost. when i read the specifications, it looks like it would be a fairly expensive vehicle. i don’t see this bus having a market as a high end vehicle.

  27. Stephen Hodges says:

    I’m glad that a “slight push on the steering wheel” on my present car doesn’t “decouple it from the steering gear”…. could be exciting!

  28. Arnold Gordon says:

    From the above article:
    The all-wheel drive configuration is just one of several that are conceivable. Thanks to the MEB, it would be just as easy to equip the I.D. BUZZ with a rear-wheel drive setup producing up to 268 hp and a smaller 83 kWh battery, depending on the region and purpose of use.
    So yes, the fully equipped model with all the bells and whistles might run into big bucks, but it will have a base model with more affordable entry prices. Even the old 1960 era popular Westphalia versions of the microbus were never cheap.

  29. Dan Padilla says:

    More VW pud pulling

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