Volkswagen has unveiled the ID.Buzz as its new electric MPV and van that pays homage to the T1 – one of the brand’s most iconic models.
Originally shown in concept form more than five years ago, the production version has been revealed with surprisingly few changes, at least on the exterior, with Volkswagen stressing that ‘form follows function’. The ID.Buzz will launch in two forms, an MPV version and a van, which is called the ID.Buzz Cargo.
Measuring 4.7m in length, and with a long 3m wheelbase, the passenger model will debut in five-seat form, though Volkswagen has said that a ‘six and seven-seat configuration and an extended wheelbase will follow’.
Key styling details include bold LED lights that run into the large Volkswagen emblem, along with a two-tone colour scheme, two key elements that feature on the original T1 model. When the dual paint is selected, the top half of the model will always be painted in Candy White.
Based on the dedicated MEB platform for electric vehicles, which already underpins a range of EVs from the Volkswagen Group, the ID.Buzz offers a vast 1,121 litres of boot space with five seats in position, and a huge 2,205 litres with the rear seats folded.
As for the commercial model, its 3.9m-cubed cargo space slots it between the Caddy and Transporter in its van range for space, with VW saying it can carry two euro pallets in the back, along with a maximum payload of 650kg.
Inside, the dashboard layout closely mirrors that of Volkswagen’s MEB-based ID.3 and ID.4 models, including a large central touchscreen measuring up to 12 inches and small digital dial display, with the whole interior having a light and minimalist look.
Both MPV and van versions are said to be made and supplied on a ‘carbon-neutral basis’, with the interior being free from all animal leather, and Volkswagen working to use a range of recycled plastics in the interior.
The ID.Buzz will come to Europe with a 77kWh battery and a 201bhp electric motor. Volkswagen is yet to announce an electric range, but it’s expected it will be able to travel around 250 miles on a full battery, while it can rapidly charge at up to 170kW, with a charge from five to 80 per cent set to be able to take place in just half an hour. Smaller and more affordable powertrain options will launch in the future.
Both versions will also come with technology that allows bi-directional charging, which offers the possibility for electric cars to feed power they don’t need to the domestic mains and help stabilise the electricity grid.
Jozef Kabaň, head of design at Volkswagen, said: “The ID. Buzz is timeless, sustainable and yet also extremely functional – that makes it unique. At the same time, it shows that it is successfully transferring the genes and stylistic elements of that iconic vehicle into the digital era.”
Pricing for the ID.Buzz is yet to be announced, but pre-sales in many markets are set to begin May ahead of first deliveries commencing later in the year.