The ID. Buzz Will Blow Your Mind, Man.
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.
Now, that iconic bus is making a comeback as the design inspiration for the 2024 all-electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz – and it’s going to blow some minds.
The 2024 VW ID. Buzz, which will land in the United States in 2023, celebrates the German company’s iconic Type 2 Microbus – or VW Bus – Fthein a very high-tech, electric-vehicle kind of way.
Perhaps the new slogan should be power off, plug in, pull away. (Our apologies to Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist, who coined the first phrase).
Starting at an estimated $40,000, the 2024 VW ID. Buzz will be an all-new beast. For starters, it has an all-electric powertrain that provides around 300 miles of driving range, flexible and super cool seating configurations, and a powerful electric engine that leaves the original in the dust.
This is everything else we are learning from VW about the vehicle, which is still in its concept form:
Just like the original generations, the ID. Buzz will offer you plenty of space for passengers or cargo, with an abundance windows and resulting natural light. There’s even a “front trunk” that was also featured in the original VW Beetle.
Remember loading into that old VW Microbus with your friends and then hitting that mountain highway only to sputter and shake at 18 mph – pedal to the metal – as sedans and coupes sped by you on the incline? Ok well, maybe you don’t. But that was because the first microbuses churned out only 30 horsepower. The new Microbus will ride on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) – and even the base model features rear-wheel drive and an output of around 200 horsepower that can get you from zero to 60 in under 5 seconds and reach a top speed of 99.
Try that in your 1960 hippie bus!
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz’ top-level trim will feature all-wheel drive and an unheard of estimated 360 horsepower.
This electric van has plenty of room for friends, pets and luggage – and a variety of ways to use the interior. The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo’s battery capacity starts at 48 kWh and can be increased to 110 kWh, according to Car and Driver.
The innovative van features a highly adaptable three rows of seats that 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.
Best of all you don’t have to worry about running out of power and you will spend zero on gasoline. The batteries provide driving ranges of 200 and 340 miles, respectively. Those who plug into a DC fast charger will attain an 80 percent charge in about a half an hour.
The VW ID. Buzz was designed to recall the original Type 2 Microbus without copying it. The front V in the body harkens back to the two-tone early version. But the ID. Buzz features design elements such as a light strip that surrounds the vehicle and gives it a futuristic visual appeal. The LED headlights have hexagonal segments that act as “eyes” to communicate the vehicle’s status.
The LED light of the headlights interactively mimics the gestures of the human eye (interactive spotlight); the headlights thereby interact with other traffic participants. According to VW, the ID. Buzz masters these light scenarios:
When all systems of the ID. BUZZ are shut down it looks from the front as if its “eyes” are closed. When the ID. BUZZ is parked, just a narrow, small LED strip is visible in the headlights.
When the ID. Buzz is “awakened”, it greets its driver and passengers with a 360° light show. First, the Volkswagen logos at the front and rear end light up. Then the ambient wrap-around lighting illuminates. Finally, the ID. BUZZ opens its “eyes.”
The Volkswagen logos, wrap-round ambient lighting and daytime running lights that consist of LED strips and the LED headlights are always active while driving. As the car accelerates, the “eyes” adjust to the higher speed by adopting a more dynamic light signature.
In fully autonomous driving mode laser scanners in the roof are extended and illuminated. As the car speeds up, the LED “eyes” also look ahead in this mode, giving the car a sportier appearance.
In addition, the “eyes” are interactive. If the ID. BUZZ wants to turn, for instance, the LED headlights look in the direction the car is going to turn.
And there’s plenty of other cool features. Rather than using a conventional key to unlock the vehicle, you simply move your hand across a specific sensor and the doors will open automatically. Once you are seated inside, the doors will close automatically.
When you are ready to split, step on the pedal and press the D on the steering wheel. The new microbus is designed for long trips on the weekend. Camping. Fishing. Concerts. Love ins. Protests. You name it. You can sleep in and live from this vehicle.
The new ID. Buzz is the seventh generation of the microbus. Like its predecessors it remains a versatile showstopper featuring a two-tone V-nose, rectangular windows, a hint of a windshield sunshade, and a gesture at the rear side air vents that characterized the original.
“The ID. Buzz stands for the new Volkswagen,” WV chairman Herbert Diess noted as he announced the new vehicle in California recently. “We are fully committed to the future of mobility, and we want to reignite America’s love for VW.”
Standing beside Diess at the announcement in Pebble Beach was Ben Pon Jr., whose father, Ben Pon Sr., was the first to import VWs to America and the very person who sketched the rough outline of the new bus on a napkin during lunch one day in 1947.
Now, the rest is history. And today it’s also the future. Fully electric, Filled with Tech. Ready to turn off, plug in and pull away.