There have been enough words typed about Volkswagen’s much-anticipated Microbus revival, the ID Buzz, so I’m simply going to chop to the chase. VW unveiled the three-row, long-wheelbase (LWB) model of the ID Buzz in California at present — the one that may truly be coming to the US — and it’s precisely what we’ve hoped for.
Along with providing much more area for cargo and passengers, the US-spec Buzz has up to date tech and extra highly effective powertrains with out compromising on fashion. At 192.4 inches in size, the three-row ID Buzz is barely 6.9 inches longer than the two-row, short-wheelbase (SWB) European ID Buzz that was revealed final 12 months, however its 127.5-inch wheelbase is 9.9 inches longer.
Which means the LWB ID Buzz is shorter in size than VW’s giant Atlas SUV — its solely present three-row providing in America — whereas providing an extended wheelbase and 5 extra inches of total top. The SWB Buzz has the identical turning radius because the compact Golf hatchback regardless of being over a foot longer, so the LWB model ought to nonetheless function equally nice maneuverability.
Apart from the added size, nothing has been modified in regards to the ID Buzz’s styling. It’s an ideal instance of retro-futuristic design and simply the perfect execution of VW’s present design language.
In contrast to on the Euro Buzz we just spent two weeks with, the VW emblem on the entrance finish of the American Buzz is illuminated, absolutely the most important light-up emblem on any automotive. The accessible panoramic sunroof is new for the ID Buzz and is the most important within the VW Group, and it has an electrochromic tint that turns the glass from clear to opaque.
There are additionally some new colours and two-tone paint choices, just like the cabana blue you see in these photographs. VW says the ID Buzz will solely include 20-inch wheels, although each smaller and greater wheels may very well be accessible as choices sooner or later.
One potential design downside for patrons lies within the rear doorways. The ID Buzz will get power-sliding doorways that may be opened by waving your foot below the sill, together with an influence liftgate with the identical tech. However not like mainly each minivan because the 2004 Toyota Sienna, the Buzz’s sliding doorways don’t have home windows that roll down.
As a substitute, the Buzz has sq. sections of the window that powerslide backward within the vein of the unique Microbus. It’s nice that there’s some quantity of window opening — the rear home windows within the SWB Buzz don’t open in any respect — however the space that opens isn’t almost as huge as what you get in different vans or crossovers.
One potential design downside for patrons lies within the rear doorways
Rising the wheelbase allowed VW to make some main enhancements to the powertrain. The LWB ID Buzz makes use of a 91kWh battery pack rather than the SWB Buzz’s 82kWh pack. There’s a brand new electrical motor on the rear that’s extra highly effective, placing out 282 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels versus 201hp and 229 lb-ft within the Euro Buzz.
That ought to lead to a a lot faster zero to 60mph time — the Euro Buzz does the run in about 10 seconds — and prime velocity has been elevated from 90mph to 99mph. Accessible at launch will likely be a brand new dual-motor all-wheel-drive variant that may have round 330hp, although no different particulars have been given but. VW additionally isn’t able to say what the ID Buzz’s EPA vary will likely be, although the bigger battery and extra environment friendly motor may give it an extended vary than the 260-mile WLTP estimate of the SWB Buzz.
The ID Buzz will likely be provided with two totally different seating configurations. As customary, the second row of seats is a three-person bench, giving the van seven seats in whole. There’s the choice for a pair of captain’s chairs for the second row, too. As with the SWB ID Buzz, the seats within the second row can’t be eliminated, however the brand new two-person third-row bench will be eliminated utterly.
VW additionally isn’t able to say what the ID Buzz’s EPA vary will likely be
Each the second and third rows fold to create a flat floor — although neither set folds into the ground. And there’s an accessible detachable cargo shelf to increase that floor space and supply storage cubbies beneath. The second row will be slid fore and aft, and the seat backs will be adjusted as much as 16 levels or fold ahead for simpler third-row entry. All three rows of seats get their very own air vents, too.
Apart from the added seats and size, the design of the ID Buzz’s cabin is equivalent to the Euro model. The massive windshield, extra quarter home windows, and raised seating place present an exceptional view out, and the door panels have nice ergonomics and armrests. The sprint includes a beautiful fake wooden panel, and every inside coloration scheme gives a mixture of totally different colours and supplies. (Sadly, the orange and white gained’t be accessible within the US; as an alternative, we’ll get a extra muted grey and brown motif.)
Like on the Euro Buzz, the middle console is detachable and options movable dividers that double as a bottle opener and ice scraper. The inside is stuffed with Buzz logos and little Easter eggs like smiley faces on fastener covers.
One main enchancment over the Euro-spec ID Buzz is the infotainment system. Whereas the Buzz will get both a 10-inch or 12-inch touchscreen throughout the pond, within the US, it’s fitted with a brand new 12.9-inch display screen as customary that’s shared with the ID.7 sedan. This new display screen has an overhauled working system that’s easier to make use of and much more customizable, plus it lastly has illuminated quantity and temperature sliders. (The 5.3-inch digital gauge cluster display screen seems to be the identical because the Euro automotive’s.)
It stays to be seen how significantly better the up to date system will truly be in apply, however something can be an improvement over VW’s existing infotainment. The ID Buzz has eight USB-C ports all through, together with in intelligent areas just like the door panels and the highest of the windshield for a dashcam, and there’s a wi-fi charging pad within the sprint.
The ID Buzz will include an extended record of ordinary options. The 12-way energy entrance seats are heated, ventilated, and have a therapeutic massage perform, and the second-row outboard seats are heated as nicely. A heated windshield, heated washer nozzles, and heated steering wheel are additionally included.
The inside is stuffed with Buzz logos and little Easter eggs like smiley faces on fastener covers
Each ID Buzz will get 30-color ambient inside lighting, keyless entry, computerized local weather management, and a collection of lively security tech with hands-on Stage 2 freeway help. Choices embrace a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a head-up show, a 360-degree digital camera system, and parking help with distant parking.
Volkswagen hasn’t given a precise launch date but, solely saying that the three-row ID Buzz will go on sale within the US in 2024. Pricing hasn’t been introduced, both, however given the quantity of ordinary gear and the Euro Buzz’s already excessive value — it begins on the equal of virtually $60,000 in Germany — the American ID Buzz may begin at round $70,000.
That’s numerous money for positive, however the ID Buzz is really a league of its personal when it comes to fashion and packaging. The Microbus is lastly again, and it’s poised to seize the hearts of hundreds of individuals as soon as extra.