Today's the day VW Bus enthusiasts have been waiting for since 2001, when the German automaker unveiled the Microbus Concept at the Detroit Auto Show.
More than two decades and three battery-powered concept vehicles later, we finally have a production model, which just like the original, is available in passenger and cargo van body styles.
The commercial vehicle variant, called the VW ID. Buzz Cargo, will unfortunately not be available in the United States. The automaker did not say why, but it's likely because of the Chicken Tax that sees light trucks imported to the US applied a 25% tariff.
Since the ID. Buzz Cargo will be built alongside the ID. Buzz at VW's Hanover plant in Germany, it qualifies for the tariff. With that out of the way, let's see what US buyers will be missing out on.
The ID. Buzz Cargo will launch in the third quarter of this year in Europe in standard-wheelbase form, just like its MEB platform sibling, the ID. Buzz. It will share an 82 kWh (77 kWh usable) lithium-ion battery with the passenger version at the start of sales, with more battery versions with various power output levels expected to follow in 2023.
The battery is mounted in the floor of the vehicle, which is said to give the ID. Buzz Cargo agile handling for a vehicle of its size. The pack powers a 201-horsepower electric motor, which sends up to 229 lb-ft (310 Nm) of torque to the rear wheels. The top speed of the ID. Buzz Cargo in this configuration is 90 mph (145 km/h).
Gallery: 2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo
When it comes to charging, the power when using alternating current (AC) is 11 kW and increases to as much as 170 kW via a CCS plug connector at a DC fast-charging station. Charging the battery from 5 to 80% takes just 30 minutes with DC fast charging.
The ID. Buzz Cargo shares exterior dimensions with the ID. Buzz, with the wheelbase measuring 117.6 inches (2,988 mm), the overall length 185.5 inches (4,712 mm) and the width 78.1 inches (1,985 mm). There’s only a slight difference in height—1 millimeter or 0.04 inches—in favor of the cargo variant due to slight differences in the chassis.
The VW ID. Buzz Cargo will launch with three seats in the cab as standard (driver's seat plus double bench seat), with an individual seat for the front passenger to be offered as an option. Behind the seats is a fixed partition that separates the cargo space; VW will offer the partition with an optional window and an opening for loading items.
The cargo space measures 137.7 cu ft (3.9 cubic meters), which is enough to accommodate two euro pallets. Loading the van is done through a wide-opening tailgate and a sliding door on the passenger side—a second sliding door will be available as a custom option. Loads can be secured via lashing rings in the floor and bars on the side walls.
Unfortunately, key specs are missing, including the estimated range, curb weight, payload—essential for a commercial vehicle—and pricing.
While the standard-wheelbase ID. Buzz Cargo will arrive in Europe later this year, a long-wheelbase variant with more cargo space will launch in 2023. Production of the standard-wheelbase ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo will kick off in the first half of this year.