Another Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ “First Drive” Review Pops Up

3 months ago by Mark Kane 13

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

Does the classic-looking van drive like a relic from the past? Or is it as futuristic as its interior and electric powertrain suggest?

Autocar recently took the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ for a spin in California, where the German manufacturer demonstrated the prototype during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

First of all, it’s certainly a concept prototype, built on a e-Golf powertrain at this stage, which means that the drive really is not representative of the production model, which was announced for first deliveries 2022.  Seriously – 2022.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of electronic gadgets on board today – like gesture control for opening the doors.

Inside you can find a lot of space (Volkswagen intends to offer the can in both passenger and cargo versions) – it is a massive 194.6 inches long, and over 6′ high.  The seating position, understandably, is also very high, while the interior is kept simple and clean.

“With a design that aims to reduce clutter, the high mounted full width dashboard is devoid of any controls. The main functions, including the gear selection and indicators, are all housed within the rectangular steering wheel.”

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

The prototype can be started with one button, and is ready to drive. However, it doesn’t show the battery state of charge. With a working/production-intent copy, range should be 270 miles (EPA) using a 111 kWh battery.

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

Because the demo I.D. BUZZ was used by other media outlets for the entire day (and the original e-Golf platform only has ~85 miles of range), Autocar was only allowed to drive the I.D. BUZZ for a single mile.

The powertrain (in production form will be a double-motor AWD setup with 275 kW) was in this case, a single-motor rear-wheel drive only – which might be an optional trim level (with less range) ultimately in production.

The acceleration was “surprising vigour”.  It feels lighter than one would anticipate for its ~2,000+ kg weight.

Autocar states:

“With a coasting function aiming to maximise efficiency, it freewheels with very low frictional losses when you come off the throttle…”

“Driveline refinement is quite impressive; there’s no trace of whine from the electric motor mounted in the back.”

“The steering is light but slow to respond and not very direct at all.”

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ

“The ride is firm and quite noisy. Most design-based concepts ride like shopping trolleys, and with the I.D. Buzz riding on 22-inch aerodynamically optimised wheels shod with prototype 235/45 tyres, there’s little in the way of proper wheel travel or comfort inducing compliance.”

“But these particular facets of the ID Buzz’s driving characteristics are not really representative of what we can expect of the finished product.”

Quick specs on the I.D. BUZZ:

  • MEB architecture
  • Range of 270 miles / 434 km (EPA) or 373 miles/600 km (NEDC)
  • 111 kWh battery
  • two electric motors for AWD and total system output: 275 kW/369horsepower
  • 0-60 mph run in about 5 seconds
  • ability to accept rates of up to 150 kW (80% charging in about half hour)

Source: Autocar

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13 responses to "Another Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ “First Drive” Review Pops Up"

  1. Tech01x says:

    I’m not sure why we bother with driving impressions of a concept car. It’s not even an alpha and has potentially almost nothing to do with the actual vehicle if it ever ships. It uses e-Golf donor parts, so might as well test drive an e-Golf, it has just as much relevance (which is almost none at all).

  2. Mike says:

    It is interesting that VW is working so hard to create buzz about a line of vehicles that doesn’t even exist. Ya they get some free press letting journalists drive their vapor-ware, but how do they translate that to sales of their current models? Why promote EVs if you don’t really have any? I can see that this almost as benefiting Tesla more.

    The other point is that the 2022 release date gives a pretty good indication of just how far the legacy automakers are from being ready to produce EVs in volume. It takes a Gigafactory to make the batteries and even after three years Tesla is not even halfway to completing their first. VW doesn’t even have a hole inthe ground yet.

    1. ffbj says:

      Really, by the time it comes out it will have lost most of it’s cache’ the BU, all that will be left will be ZZ.

    2. john Doe says:

      One reason why they are so much in media is because of the massive green shift that is going on in Europe and Germany.

      They have a much greener approach to the environment then the US for example. More solar, thermal, windpower, much much better recycling from households and factories, more focus on smarter energy use in houses. They don’t have regular landfills for example ‘ just like countries in Scandinavia.
      (but solar and wind is on a roll in the US, as most other places in the world. That is a good thing. One thing that is negative is that the electricity becomes so cheap that they can no longer afford maintenance on the windmills. Denmark is haveing a problem with older windmills that are sold to other countries, and they are not always replaced with a new one. So far this year, about 100 windmills have been sold and moved to other countries.
      Maybe there should be a feed in tarrif, that is enough to maintain older wind generators. Gearbox problems can be expensive on older (and new) windmills.

      Germany is making a change in their massive auto industry.
      This will affect jobs, one way or another. They’re working closely with their suppliers. The suppliers are working hard to include parts for EVs in their line up.

      VW need future customers to know what’s coming – as it is key for their success.
      But I feel VW (and Nissan Leaf) spend too much time in the meadia, offering very little of substance. They should show a design, and maybe later add info about specs, but then they should just release a date for when people can buy it.
      I see no reason to let people drive a custom demonstration vehicle they just may look like the car that is coming – but is made only as a show car. Are they trying to make a false impression that they are closer to releasing the car then they actually are?
      When we know they’re in early face of tooling and automation installation in the factory (for the ID), we know that will take at least 15-24 month before series (pre)production can begin. Unless they really add money to the project. The Buzz will come a year or two later then this.

      Before this model they will sell two other EVs, and they are all going to be produced in a high volume factory.

      To keep a factory of this size busy, they have to sell a lot of these cars – or else they will not benefit from the high volume factory aproach.
      A mature company like VW also needs to make a profit.

      Since they plan to move a lot of EVs, they need their organization and partners ready too. They need to make sure that when they start producing EVs, they will have customers ready for them, and that they are ready for volume production from day one.

      They don’t need a battery factory (even though it may be smart), since there are many manufacturers, and many factories ready by the time they need battery cells.
      They can buy cells from Germany, China, Sweden?, Japan, Korea. They are all investing in more production capasity. Prices will come down. There is also a risk with new technology being developed. It solid state batteries are ready when they’re releasing this car – and they had their own normal lithium cell production, they would have invested in old technology that is not competitive in the market.

      At the same time, it is a risk to produce an EV in high volumes. Not to mention VW will release 5 cars in a fairly short time period. Since the EV market is small, and sales will depend a lot on incentives. It is a risk, of having spent a lot of money, and not succeed.
      In Denmark, they have not sold one single Tesla since the incentives started to go away. More or less the same could happen in Norway. Slowly some of the advantages will go away. When road tolls have to be paid by EVs,customers will not save money on this. It may be only 10-15 dollars a day, but it all adds up. If free parking, and many of the public free charging goes away AND they start to add taxes on EVs. . . sales will slow.
      The EVs must be cheaper and be able to compete with ICE vehicles.

      I think they will succeed since they have invested so much money in design, equipment, tooling, and the good economical (and industrial) cooperation they have with their suppliers.
      In the meantime, the others should focus on building and selling as many EVs as possible.
      All while the competition is very low compared to the competition between ICE cars.

    3. chris says:

      Vaporware, vaporware……legacy automakers blah blah blah. You Tesla fanboys are predictable. It takes a couple of years to engineer and design a car right.

  3. Doggydogworld says:

    VW stands for Vapor Ware, after all, but I still give two thumbs up for freewheeling!

  4. Michael Will says:

    Lol in 2022 they still will have the legacy start button tesla removed in 2012. So stupid… it’s one of the really annoying things in my 2015 VW eGolf

  5. Spoonman. says:

    Does the prototype even have climate control? I don’t see any vents…

    1. Martin T. says:

      Ah … Don’t hit a bump as the clay / wood and putty could break off. Why are Journalists such pawns to VW ? A company that refuses to change much or bring reliable product with low cost of total ownership? After clean diesel gate the company is morally corrupt and should not be pulling further stunts like these to tarnish its already muddy image. German engineering my donkeys A..

  6. Hans Blix says:

    This thing looks awesome, a camper version would be a dream.. Sad it’s not coming out sooner..

  7. Kdawg says:

    I like it (and this is coming from an non-van, non-VW person).
    I hope it sees the light of day.

  8. Mister G says:


  9. Chris says:

    Concept cars are built largely to gauge public interest to see if it’s worth spending time of money developing it and bringing to market. If course it doesn’t have the finalised powertrain .

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