The world premiere of the ID. BUZZ1 concept car at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2017 triggered a sensational response around the globe. The positive feedback made only one decision possible: the concept car had to be transferred to full production. Five intensive years of development work followed. Now the time has come: the ID. Buzz1 – an electric motoring game-changer – is ready. Volkswagen is therefore activating the countdown for a double world premiere: on 9 March, the all-electric Bulli will be simultaneously taking off emission-free as the ID. Buzz (5-seater) and Buzz Cargo (van).
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is currently going through the final phase of trials of the ID. Buzz prototypes. Right now, the pre-production fleet is touring Europe. These are final test runs under everyday conditions between Barcelona, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Hannover. Kai Grünitz, Head of Vehicle Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: “Before we start full production of the ID. Buzz, these final trials with vehicles practically matching the ultimate full-production specification provide us with indispensable input for the final fine-tuning.”.
The ID. Buzz prototypes are now only slightly disguised. It is thus becoming noticeable that the designers have rigorously transferred the styling of the 2017 concept car to the 2022 full-production version – the similarities are unmissable. Both ID. Buzz versions also draw on the stylistic elements of the legendary T1, the original Bulli. Those elements include extremely short vehicle body overhangs, maximum utilisation of space on a minimal footprint, the classic division of the vehicle body design into an upper and lower level, plus the unmistakable face with its V-shape. And just like the original Bulli, the ID. Buzz too has rear-wheel drive.
Despite all the links to the great history of the model line, the avant-garde ID. Buzz gives electric motoring a new face. What has been created is a car without rival, because the ID. Buzz is not based on the compromise of a multi-traction platform, but is an electric Bulli from the ground up. Both versions of the ID. Buzz, be it people-mover or van, are indications of their owners having taken an intelligent decision on mobility, with which both private and business users are able to counteract climate change.
On the engineering front the new model line is based on the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). Both ID. Buzz versions are launching this year with a high-voltage lithium-ion battery providing gross energy content of 82 kWh (net: 77 kWh). The battery supplies a 150 kW electric motor, which is integrated in the rear axle, which it also drives. The top speed is electronically limited at 145 km/h. Official figures for range are not yet available. In fact, the new ID. Buzz is a very agile vehicle. For the one part, the electric motor builds up its maximum torque of 310 Nm from a standing start. And for the other, these dynamic components are joined by the vehicle body having a very low centre of gravity, as the battery is located well down in the sandwich floor. By virtue of its design, the ID. Buzz has another advantage: the electric Bulli’s turning circle is only just over 11 metres.
Thanks to the space-saving MEB concept, the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo offer unusually good utilisation of space. The five-seater ID. Buzz takes up to 1,121 litres of luggage even with all seats occupied. The maximum load capacity of the ID. Buzz Cargo, fitted with a partition wall, is over 3.9 m3.
The ID. Buzz is incidentally not the first Bulli with an electric drive system. Fifty years ago at the Hannover Trade Fair, Volkswagen was already showing a T2 as a first prototype powered by a rear-mounted electric motor. The maximum range of 85 kilometres showed, however, that the battery technology was still far from being suitable for practical use. But even back then in 1972, the dream was born: the dream of an emission-free Bulli. In 2022 it is now becoming reality.