One of my idiosyncratic personal requirements of a modern EV is that it really should offer storage at both ends, front and rear. That means it needs a trunk up front, or as, they’re known in the slang of hardcore enclosed-vehicle-storage fetishists, a frunk. Volkswagen’s ID.4 EV does not offer a frunk, something I went out of my way to not just complain about, but solve, and it appears that the ID. Buzz, VW’s re-born Type 2 Microbus, lacks a front trunk as well. But in the case of the bus, I think that’s just fine.
The frunklessness of the Buzz came to my attention via tweet:
I’ll be honest here: I was never expecting a trunk from the ID. Buzz, for the simple reason that the original Microbus never offered a front trunk, and that’s because the fundamental, now-iconic bread-loaf shape of the Bus simply has no hood at all, really.
You can’t have a front trunk if your car doesn’t really have a front at all. The whole point of the bus was that it was a cab-over design, with the driver’s butt over the front wheel and pretty much the entire enclosed volume of space of the vehicle being able to be used for people or cargo, minus a bit of room in the bottom rear for the engine and fuel tank:
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No front trunk was needed, because that space over the front wheels was already being used for, well, you, as you drove it. That’s not to say VW never toyed with the idea of some sort of compartment way up front, likely just for the spare tire, as we can see in this mid-’60s design study:
VW never bothered to pursue this small-frunked Bus design, and most VW Bus owners who wanted the spare out of the way just mounted it up front on an optional spare tire carrier, where it also offered a bit of extra front protection. But that was as close as VW ever got to a frunk’d bus.
Now, the ID. Buzz, likely for crash safety reasons, does shove the driver back a bit behind the front wheel, but there’s still really no front end to speak of:
Without much of a hood, there’s not going to be much room for a frunk. On a car like the ID.4, I absolutely think VW should have managed to get a plastic liner under the hood to make that space in there usable to the owner.
I also realized I’m not the only one who thinks so! My article seems to have inspired some real ID.4 owners to try it out:
Look at that! At least a couple ID.4 owners have lined and made their own frunks! Fantastic! Also, what the hell is “Boston Style” pizza? Is it like a big waffle covered in clam chowder and beer?
The other interesting thing about the ID.Buzz is that while it has no trunk, that front panel does open, and it opens in an unexpected way: down.
Really, if you need to access things in there like brake or washer fluid, this is a pretty smart way to open it, as if it opened like a traditional hood, that would be pretty awkward to get under and into.
This opening method reminds me of how an Alfa Romeo SZ’s trunk opens:
I’m guessing this wasn’t an intentional design reference, just an example of convergent evolution.
So, despite what you may think, I don’t mind that VW forewent the frunk on the ID.Buzz. A Microbus doesn’t need one, though if they had a way to at least cram the charging cables in there, that would be pretty cool.
But, for once, I won’t make a big deal about it. So you can relax, VW PR teams.