As soon as the new VW Beetle debuted in 1997, people began asking about the return of the VW bus. It was known officially as the VW Type 2, Transporter, Kombi, or Microbus, but it was also called the Camper, Bus, or Bulli. You probably know it as the VW Bus. The company put out a minibus concept in 2001, and then for the next 15 years, the public was shown three different concepts. Finally, in 2017, Volkswagen announced the ID. Buzz would be one of their electric vehicle models for the near future.
A 5-passenger model of the new ID. Buzz is currently in European production, but our U.S. version is anticipated to arrive mid-2024. Our version will carry up to 7 passengers and will be about a foot longer. But now that actual models are on sale across the pond, we can get a better idea of what the Albuquerque Volkswagen ID. Buzz will look like.
There are a few aspects of the new ID. Buzz that is reminiscent of the old VW Bus. The original bus was built on the Beetle chassis and the new ID. Buzz is built on the same MEB platform as the VW ID.4, including the same 82-kWh battery pack and 201-hp electric motor that drives the rear wheels. This model is rated at a 263-mile range, and with DC fast charging, it’s expected to juice up from 10% to 80% in only 30 minutes. Since the U.S. model will be longer, there will be more room for a larger battery, which will likely change these numbers.
Inside, the European ID. Buzz dashboard is much like the one in the ID.4, making it very familiar. On the outside of the Albuquerque Volkswagen ID. Buzz, the general shape, and the white-topped two-tone paint may evoke images of the old VW Bus, along with the change from color to white appearing right below the window line.
Whimsically, where the color change meets in the front, it dips down and looks like a big smile. In contrast, the color division on the old bus conjured an image of downturned eyebrows. And while the bottom of the windshield is right in front, it slopes to the rear, giving the driver and front passenger more distance from the front of the minibus. Thankfully, this is a change for the good, as the original vehicle gave no protection from a front-end collision.
The remaining windows are also changed from the old style. The most common original model had four almost identical, nearly square windows in a line behind each front door. Some models had eight more windows (four on each side) above those, separated by the roof pillars and tilted skyward as part of the roof. The new bus has no roof windows and an unbroken line of tinted windows and black pillars. The front door windows go down, but the rest are fixed in place.
Although the dash is like that of the ID.4, many new features are inside. All seats have fold-down armrests on the outside of the seats that can be raised when exiting. Mounted on the backs of the front seats are foldable plastic trays (like those on passenger airplanes).
There are storage compartments within the center console with removable dividers that can be used as an ice scraper and a bottle opener. The console is also removable to lend more room for storing cargo. An available option package will construct a mattress platform with storage bins underneath, and another one offers a combination bed, kitchen, and storage unit that fits inside the ID. Buzz. We’re not sure if this will be available in the U.S.
We must wait to see what will remain and what changes are in store for our version. We know the starting price should be around $55,000, and an upgraded, dual-motor AWD version will be offered on American soil. And we also know it won’t be here until at least late spring of next year.
If your need for a new car is more immediate, we have the creatively and mechanically similar ID.4 EV and an entire lineup of other European-designed Volkswagen models, one of which will surely suit you. Visit the dealership of Fiesta VW at 8201 Lomas Blvd NE in Albuquerque, NM 87110 to discover yours.