Written by Theo Koenig – December 03, 2020
Edited by Kfir Kedem
Volkswagen (VW) are on track to modernizing camper vans. The ID.Buzz is VW’s take on a modernized, electrified camper inspired from the original Type 2 minibus. The Type 2, originally designed as a practical vehicle for German masses, quickly became the iconic microbus that is synonymous with van life.
The ID.Buzz was first unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show back in 2017. The reception at the time was very positive, leading VW to create a series-production version that is expected to hit the road in 2022. VW is investing in several plant renovations in order to revamp factories for electrification goals that would bring forward 20 full electric models to the market by 2025 and 75 models by 2029. Production of the ID.Buzz will focus around the Hannover plant, where versions for an internal-combustion-engine and hybrid ID.Buzz will take place starting in 2021. By 2022, full-electric versions of the ID.Buzz are expected to be produced at the plant. In latest developments, the VW group invested in 800 robots to be used mainly for battery assembly and body production at the Hannover plant.
The VW groups’ first MEB (Modular Electric Drive) platform, which harmonizes manufacturing of electric vehicles across VW brands, has featured in already in the ID.3 and ID.4 electric vehicles and an extended version will also be used for the ID.Buzz. Official specifications for the series version of the ID.Buzz have not been clarified by Volkswagen. As was the case with the ID.3, the pre-orders for the ID.Buzz are expected a year before launch. Based on the details of the current concept design, however, there will be two motors (one on each axel), providing all-wheel drive with the following specifications can be expected:
The long-term vision of the ID.Buzz includes an older brother, the ID.Buzz Cargo, designed as an emission-free delivery vehicle, ideal for the city center. As a level-3 autonomous vehicle, the ID.Buzz Cargo should be capable of high levels automated driving. When activated, the drivers’ seat can swivel up to 180° to face the back of the van. The Cargo is furthermore expected to have solar panels integrated into the sunroof.
Despite featuring in the concept version of the ID.Buzz, autonomous driving will not be a feature in the expected 2022 versions of the vehicle and is instead expected to be fully integrated and functional by 2025.
The influence of the original Type 2 is clearly present in the exterior design of the ID.Buzz. The short overhangs and boxy shape have remained to keep create a vehicle designed for maximum interior space. As opposed T2, the ID. Buzz features an inclined windshield, with a front that includes a thin LED lights and along with playful circular fog-lights and a light-up VW logo. Most of the attention, however, will be drawn towards the futuristic interior details. To begin, the ID.Buzz features an entirely new steering wheel that includes an integrated touchpad. Many may also be shocked to hear the infotainment system of the vehicle has been entirely reduced to a tablet, with no other buttons or dials present in the vehicle cockpit. Another change is that drivers of the ID.Buzz are now accompanied by an augmented reality Heads-Up display that projects navigation details around 7 to 15 meters ahead of the vehicle. Finally, the last major change is that of the sideview mirrors, which have now been replaced with exterior cameras and a video-screen rear-view mirror.
Seating has been designed with maximum flexibility in mind. All seats rest on individual rails, meaning seating configurations can be adjusted by easily removing or adding seats. Rear passenger seats can furthermore be rotated and are fully reclinable, allowing passengers to build fully functional beds in the back. The ID.Buzz also features a sophisticated interface for device interaction. The vehicle allows users can configure their phones as digital keys, allows users to receive shopping lists from smart fridges, and can even be connected with home heating-applicates to set the temperature before arriving home.
Auto Trendy’s take:
The VW Groups’ electric future is very clearly outlined. VW already supplying electrified vans in the form of the e-Transporter 6.1, the e-Caravelle 6.1 and the e-Crafter directly, on top of the several other models produced by sister brands. In light of these vehicles, the ID. Buzz’s superior technology implementations and futuristic design suggest that VW may experimenting on new features and tastes with this model. The new steering wheel, along with the Heads-Up display as well as the automated driving will be some of the first of its kind to be produced by VW.