A versatile, zero-emissions, all-wheel drive vehicle is a Microbus for the future is what Volkswagen calls their ID Buzz Concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Does it have production potential or is it just another Microbus tease?
The Volkswagen Microbus is an icon. So it’s easy when Volkswagen needs a quick run-to concept car to revive the iconic images of the past to gin up some love. They’ve built two previous Microbus concepts in the last two decades, now here is a third.
This one is a little bit different though. It comes at a time when Volkswagen is soon letting their iconic Beetle go out of production. More importantly this one represents the all-electric future the company is banking on to move forward from the TDI “Clean Diesel” cloud.
To wit, the I.D. Buzz is an all-wheel drive zero-emissions update to a time-tested iconic theme. Compact and versatile family transportation has worked every time it’s been tried, and adding in the cute and lovable design can’t hurt either.
It’s clearly designed to mimic the lines and character of the original Microbus, right down to the two-tone color scheme and the tapering Vee shape at the front. The rest is an elegantly modern take with LED lighting, 22-inch wheels and contemporary lines. The panoramic roof panels almost read like an old 21 window.
When it comes to this modern Microbus, it’s much larger and expansive. Combined with the compact packaging of its electric motors at each drive axle and a flat battery pack under the floor, the interior is unfettered with obstructions to be entirely flexible and roomy.
And it’s fast too, unlike the old Microbus. The all-wheel drive electric drive system has a total of 369 horsepower and a total driving range on a charge of 270 miles. Volkswagen says its good for a 0 to 60 time of about 5 seconds. Woof.
In the future though we’re told we won’t be all that interested in things like acceleration, rather we’ll want to let the cars drive themselves. In that way, the I.D. Buzz also demonstrates an autonomous driving future which allows the driver to cede control and let the bus do the driving. Groovy man.
This means the interior can be packed full of electronics and techno hardware that might otherwise be considered a distraction from the road. But if you’re gonna kick back with the Mello Yellow and rock out on the ultimate trip, why not have multiple technicolor screens about?
But don’t come down yet, ambient LED interior lighting can keep the mood aglow while you’re riding high down old Route 66 into the sunset to the next charging station, likely just on the outskirts of Kingman, AZ at the Pilot Truck Stop.
The best part about this latest Volkswagen Microbus tease is that this time around Volkswagen needs one. So look ahead to 2020 and twist up your hopes good and tight, you never know what might happen.