Volkswagen has announced plans to produce an all-electric successor to the iconic Microbus, almost 70 years after the original’s release.
Dr Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO, revealed production plans for the ID Buzz earlier this week at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California.
At the US car show, which has been running since 1956, Diess spoke to the media about the importance of the ID Buzz: “This vehicle unites past and future as well as Pebble Beach and Silicon Valley.”
The ID Buzz concept made its debut at the 2017 Detroit motor show in Michigan, demonstrating the EV future of VW. The concept was met with such enthusiasm that the German manufacturer has scheduled a 2022 release.
When the Type 1 Microbus was released in 1950 it had just 30ps. But the new concept, which the 2022 production MPV is expected to mirror, generates 374ps thanks to an all-new all-electric drivetrain.
Fitted with a large 111kWh lithium-ion battery mounted low in the floor, the concept MPV will hit 100km/h in five seconds and reach a limited top speed of 160km/h, all while producing a zero-emissions range of up to 599km.
And when the battery runs flat, an all-new fast-charge system will enable it to restore 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes at a charging rate of 150kW.
While the ID Buzz is designed to change the future of EV mobility, it’s not without a look to the past. As with the classic Microbus, space utilization is key – the ID Buzz concept has a length of 4,942mm, a width of 1,976mm and height of 1,963mm.
A combination of size, a floor mounted battery and compact drivetrain means the front and rear axles can be mounted further away from each other, so that the concept boasts eight fully variable seats.
To future-proof VW’s newest MPV, ultrasound sensors, radar sensors, area-view cameras and laser scanners are all expected to play a major part, in the process enabling fully automated driving.
At Concours d’Elegance, VW commercial vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz revealed plans to release a cargo model alongside the ID Buzz: “For zero-emission delivery operations that boast a high degree of automated driving capability, it’s an ideal electric van concept, particularly for inner cities.”
For Deiss it is clear that the ID Buzz is the future of EV VWs: “Our goal is clear: we want to make the fully electric, fully connected car a bestseller around the world. The iconic car of the electric age must be a Volkswagen.”