Ever since Volkswagen unveiled the Microbus Concept at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show, the world has been waiting for a modern iteration of the Bus.
More than two decades and three battery-powered concept vehicles later, we finally have a launch date for the spiritual successor of the hippie van, the ID. Buzz.
Volkswagen has officially announced that the production version of the ID. Buzz—it’s still unclear whether that will be its name—is coming on March 9, 2022.
The announcement was made via Twitter by VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, who shared a digital sketch of the electric minivan. The video was accompanied by the message “The legend returns on 03/09/2022,” leading many commenters to ask Diess whether he meant March 9 or September 3.
The executive replied and confirmed March 9, 2022 as the reveal date for the ID. Buzz. Interestingly, VW Group’s corporate Twitter account later posted the same video but with the European date format instead.
Date confusion aside, the ID. Buzz is a long time coming, at least since 2017 when the namesake concept was unveiled (where else?) in Detroit. It’s quite surprising how much the production model will resemble the concept vehicle given that more than four years separate them, but it’s a nice surprise. We’re not making that statement based on the animated sketch above but a recent teaser that showed the ID. Buzz’s final production body fully wrapped in colorful camouflage.
Mind you, the production model has gained regular door handles and side mirrors in the process, as well as street-legal headlights, but the overall look is pretty reminiscent of the 2017 design study pictured below.
The production version of the ID. Buzz is based on VW Group’s MEB architecture and is likely to get the largest battery pack available for the electric vehicle platform, with a capacity of 111 kWh.
The concept vehicle also had an 111-kWh pack and two electric motors with a total output of 275 kW (368 hp). The range was estimated at 600 km (372 miles) in the NEDC test cycle.
According to a July 2021 report from Automotive News, VW is planning a passenger and cargo version for Europe and another passenger version for the United States. The US version will come exclusively as a long-wheelbase model, as per the same source.
So far, VW has only confirmed the Hanover plant in Germany as the manufacturing location for the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo, although there have been reports about VW planning to make the US-spec model in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The market launch for Europe is expected in the third quarter of 2022, with deliveries of the US model to follow in 2023.