Berkeley, California may well be America’s spiritual home of the Volkswagen microbus. And ground zero for everything microbus in this hallowed land is Marco Greywe’s VW Buslab, an auto shop that specializes in fixing Volkswagen vans.
On any day you can catch a line of vintage VW buses being worked on at the 20-year-old auto repair/used parts VW Buslab shop that focuses on all things VW bus.
“A highlighter yellow bus with a matte, vinyl-wrapped body is parked in front of a beige Vanagon with a plaid-patterned interior and bright orange wheels splattered with mud. The trunk is practically overflowing with camping gear, and a hand-painted Route 66 ashtray rests on the dash.” SF Gate, the San Francisco Chronicle’s online edition, recently reported.
“Next to it, a grasshopper green bus with a wooden cabinet setup inside has a string of blue beads hanging from the rearview mirror, while a white van with yellow, red, and orange stripes has a knit blanket with a zig-zag print strewn over the fold-out bed that looks like it’s straight out of the basement from ‘That ’70s Show.’
It’s always busy. On any given day there may be roughly 30 additional buses sitting in the nearby yard, waiting to be worked on.
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The VW Buslab started at a place called the Richmond warehouse in 2002.
Shortly after his arrival from the East Coast, Grey noticed that there were a lot of VW buses on the road in Berkeley. He and his friend/business partner, Steve Perzan, began to buy and sell the vehicles, repairing them along the way.
Soon, they had accumulated a big and devoted clientele from all walks of life. The growth soon forced them to move their enterprise to a larger location in downtown Berkeley.
The business kept growing and quickly outgrew that space and the owners ended up leasing their current building. It is five times the size of the previous location. And it doesn’t look like business is slowing down any time soon.
The older vans should, in fact, just get more popular with the release of the ID. Buzz, the 7th generation all-electric version of the VW Microbus is due soon.
The iconic Volkswagen Microbus, like other symbols of the 1960s, came to represent the counterculture and even helped an entire generation to turn on, tune in, and drop out as they shunned the establishment and hit the open road. And the VW Buslab has continued to keep that legacy alive.
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Now, the VW Bus is making a comeback as the design inspiration for the all-electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz – and it’s going to blow some minds.
Starting at an estimated $40,000, the ID. Buzz will be an all-new bus.
For starters, it has an all-electric powertrain that provides around 263 miles of driving range. It also has super cool flexible seating configurations and a powerful electric engine that leaves the original in the dust.
The engine produces 286 horsepower and generates 406 lb-ft of torque, harnessing power from a 91-kWh battery pack.
“This electric drive motor increases the maximum speed to the electronic limit of 160 km/h. The large ID. Buzz can reach a speed of 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. But that’s not all: an all-wheel drive version (GTX) with an output of 250 kW (339 hp) has been announced for 2024. The ID. Buzz GTX04 will be able to complete the 0–100 km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds, making it perfect for rapidly merging with traffic on the highway,” explains VW.
And the interior is just as fascinating. The ID. Buzz will offer you plenty of space for passengers or cargo, with a length of 4,962 mm and up to seven seats with an abundance of windows and natural light. The highly adaptable three rows of seats can be spun around, laid down, or removed completely if you’re hosting your own be-in. This means you can sleep in it, eat in it, chill in it. The movable center console slides forward and back on a track and contains a table. And somehow designers even saved room for a trunk.
Features of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz
- Spacious Tech-Filled Cabin. The interior of the 2025 VW ID. Buzz is designed to provide a spacious and comfortable cabin for passengers. With seating for up to seven passengers, the vehicle offers ample legroom and headroom, making it ideal for families and groups.
- Modern Infotainment System. The ID. Buzz comes equipped with a high-resolution 12.9-inch infotainment system that features a large touchscreen display. The system includes advanced features such as voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, making it easy to stay connected on the go.
- Ambient Lighting. The interior is also equipped with ambient lighting with 30 colors that create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The lighting can be adjusted to different colors and intensities, allowing passengers to customize the interior to their liking. Drivers can select from five preset moods, or choose from different areas individually.
- Advanced Driver Assistance Features. It includes a range of advanced driver assistance features that make driving safer and more convenient. These features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking, among others. The vehicle also includes a 360-degree camera system that provides a clear view of the surroundings, making it easier to navigate tight spaces and parking lots.
- Open Air Feeling. The wide-open greenhouse can be further enhanced by an available panoramic glass sunroof with electrochromic tinting, which changes from clear to opaque with the swipe of a finger. The sunroof is 67.4 inches long and 40.8 inches wide, making this the largest of any in the Volkswagen Group – and it works through a PDLC (polymer-dispersed liquid crystal) layer integrated into the glass.
VW Buslab continues to keep the Volkswagen Microbus legacy alive through their world-class service. And now, enthusiasts of the famed Bus can live their dream by driving the newest generation – ID. Buzz.
Pre-order the Volkswagen ID. Buzz from VW Marin below.