The hippie van is hipper than ever now.
Volkswagen has teased the ID. Buzz for years, with the concept version of the car first being revealed 5 years ago in 2017 in Detroit. And with the ID.4 already on the market, it was only a matter of time before Volkswagen brought out the electric iteration of the worldwide classic T1 Microbus. Today, the ID. Buzz’s production version was officially revealed for the European market, and is set to go on sale in Europe this year. Unfortunately for those in North America, the ID. Buzz will have to wait until next year, and it won’t be available for sale in North America until 2024. However, this news is bittersweet, as the ID. Buzz coming to the North American market will be new in itself, being released as a long-wheelbase passenger model, which will be revealed for North America at the same time as the European market.
The electric motor in the ID. Buzz gives a healthy 201 horsepower and 229 lb/ft of torque… to the rear wheels. This in itself is a homage to the original Microbus, which had a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. One of the many benefits the advent of electric vehicles provides is the fact that the powertrain is easier to work with. With the batteries, which carry a great deal of the weight, unlike an engine in a gasoline car, being in the floor of the vehicle as opposed to under a hood in the front, middle, or back of the car, weight distribution is more even, the center of gravity is much lower, and everyday cars like the ID. Buzz no longer have to be relegated to being front-wheel drive the way they did in the past.
Among car enthusiasts, much of the skepticism around electric vehicles has been the fear that they will remove the visceral joy in driving, but as we have seen, it’s quite the contrary. Cars like the ID. Buzz get to come equipped with a rear-wheel-drive layout that not only pays homage to its classic predecessor but also makes the same visceral joy of driving even better with the strong torque delivery of electric powertrains. The way it sounds on paper, the ID. Buzz seems like a deceptively exciting car to drive.
With an optional 12-inch screen, dual-zone HVAC, vegan leather upholstery, organically-based paint, seating arrangements from 5-7 coming soon, and 100,000 miles of warranty on the battery, the ID. Buzz has vintage charm but lacks vintage impracticality. With its lovable looks, peppy performance, and comprehensive features, the envy towards the European market, who get to have the ID. Buzz this year is very real. But in 2024, we’ll be ready and waiting to have it here.