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

AUG 23 2017 BY MARK KANE 13

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

Categories: Volkswagen


Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "Another Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ “First Drive” Review Pops Up"

newest oldest most voted

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).

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.

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.

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… Read more »

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.

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

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

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

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..

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

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


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 .