Volkswagen has hinted at bringing back the iconic Microbus for many years now, and the I.D. Buzz Concept is the latest preview of what might be heading our way.
Unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, the VW I.D. Buzz is actually the latest member of the brand’s new family of I.D. electric concepts and follows the debut of the I.D. hatchback that debuted a few months earlier. It is described as “a Microbus for the future.”
The I.D. Buzz rides on a stretched version of the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform called “MEB-XL” and measures 194.6 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall, providing it with enough room to accommodate up to eight passengers. It features two luggage compartments.
Not only does the I.D. Buzz look to the past for inspiration, but it’s also a reflection of the paradigm shift currently taking place in the auto industry. It is a full-electric vehicle powered by two electric motors that are energized by a 111-kWh battery pack, one propelling the front wheels and the other serving the rear.
The electric drivetrain produces a combined output of 369 horsepower, allowing the I.D. Buzz to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds and travel up to 270 miles on a full charge of electricity. It takes only 30 minutes to recharge the battery up to 80 percent when it’s depleted.
With fully autonomous vehicles almost reality, Volkswagen used the I.D. Buzz concept to showcase its new fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” driving mode, which could hit the market sometime before 2025.
When I.D. Pilot is activated, the cabin is turned into a living room on wheels and the center console can be set up as a table when needed. This innovative touch allows the I.D. Buzz to not only seat up to eight individuals, but also to seat four with a table in the middle or two to free up about 260 cubic feet of cargo space.
In fact, the third row can be turned into a bed!
Volkswagen hasn’t announced when its so-called “Microbus for the future” will become a reality, but here are reports that it could arrive by 2022. Would a production I.D. Buzz Concept interest you?