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All-electric retro Microbus revealed in Detroit. Image by Volkswagen.

All-electric retro Microbus revealed in Detroit
ID Buzz concept could become Volkswagen's electric car hero.
<< earlier Volkswagen article     later Volkswagen article >>

 


News homepage -> Volkswagen news

What's all this then?

This is the Volkswagen ID Buzz, and it's enough to have you breaking out your surfboards and patchouli oil.

Looks a bit old-fashioned...

That's kind of the point. It's a retro-look throwback to the classic Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus from the sixties, with seats for seven and more technology than you can shake a CND sign at.

Underneath, it uses the same MEB electric car platform as last year's ID hatchback concept. With four-wheel drive and some big batteries, Volkswagen reckons it can go for around 400 miles on a single charge, and with 369hp it can sprint from 0-62mph in a little over five seconds. There's also the possibility of a rear-wheel drive 268hp version.

Inside, while there's classic-style wood on the floor, everything else is seriously high tech. The steering wheel is more of a touch-pad with a leather rim and allows the driver to do everything from changing gear to selecting full autonomous mode. Yup, it's a robot microbus, with laser scanners in neat pods that extend from the roof to guide the ID Buzz down the road. The cabin has seats for seven and in autonomous mode (signalled in the cabin when the interior lighting switches to a warm white colour) the driver can even spin their seat around to chat with those in the rear. That's going to freak a few people out...

On the outside, as well as looking delightfully retro, Volkswagen is making use of expressive LED lighting to tell people on the pavement what the car is up to. The headlights can even swivel like eyes to make 'eye contact' with pedestrians to let them know the car has seen them.

There's a built-in tablet computer that uses Volkswagen's new User-ID system to customise the cabin setup to each driver's individual taste, and a banging Beats Audio sound system to keep the tunes coming.

Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, says: "The I.D. BUZZ is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels; rather, we have taken the logical next step forward in development using what is in all likelihood the most successful design of its kind in the world. The entire design is extremely clean with its homogeneous surfaces and monolithic silhouette. The future and origins of Volkswagen design DNA combine here to create a new icon."

"It's clearly a Microbus, but a completely new interpretation," Oliver Stefani, Head of Volkswagen Exterior Design, says, "Instead of the round headlights used in the original model, in designing the I.D. BUZZ we opted for slender LED systems, which not only turn night into day, but also interactively communicate with other road users and pedestrians."

And the chances of it actually being built?

Pretty decent actually. The Volkswagen board is said to be keen on the idea, and it could be something of an instant electric icon if it does go into production some time around 2020.



Neil Briscoe - 9 Jan 2017


2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.

2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz Microbus concept. Image by Volkswagen.









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