If you’re charmed by Volkswagen’s spiritual Microbus successor, the all-electric ID.Buzz, and happen to live in Europe, you should get your chance to order yours next year. For those of us in the States, the wait is going to be a little longer. Volkswagen commercial vehicle chief Carsten Intra has confirmed the ID.Buzz won’t land on our shores until 2023 as a 2024 model.
When the ID.Buzz does arrive, it won’t come in the same breadth of styles as in Europe. There, the bus will be sold commercially as well as privately, and it’ll come in short- and long-wheelbase variants. Here, Volkswagen isn’t courting businesses, and we’ll get only the the long-wheelbase one, according to details Intra revealed to Car And Driver.
Base models of the ID.Buzz will offer “around 200 horsepower” sent to the rear wheels, while higher-end models will offer as much as 300 HP and dual-motor all-wheel drive. Customers will reportedly have a choice of three battery packs.
The ID.Buzz still seems like a proposition too perfect to be true — especially on this side of the Atlantic, where Volkswagen hasn’t sold its camper vans in decades. That’s a shame, because the California T6 is a good vibes machine if there ever was one.
Given that Volkswagen is skipping the entry-level ID.3 in the U.S. but selling the ID.4 — and plans for the ID.5 and ID.6 are unclear at this point — this bus could very well be the second vehicle built on the brand’s modular electric platform to reach the States.
It was surprising to hear Volkswagen commit to producing the ID.Buzz back in 2017. At the time, VW Group CEO Herbert Diess told media that “emotional cars” were critical to Volkswagen’s brand, and vehicles like the ID.Buzz were core to realizing that goal. Then again, he also said in the same breath that the company was “selling loads of Beetles still, particularly in U.S. markets.” Given the Beetle’s current status of very dead, that doesn’t instill much confidence.
However, the ID.Buzz seems like the right vehicle for Volkswagen in this cultural moment. The pandemic has evidently turned you, me and our neighbors, friends and family into nomadic overlanders, and a playful bus with a retro design very much taps into that romantic mindset.