Home Feature news Take a look at Volkswagen’s iconic minibus redesigned as an adorable EV

Take a look at Volkswagen’s iconic minibus redesigned as an adorable EV

If an object can encapsulate both the retro past and the high-tech present, this one does.

Wednesday, Volkswagen debuted an electric redesign of its groovy midcentruy T1 Microbus, now called the ID. Buzz. First shown as a concept car in 2017, the new EV comes with an electric motor and autonomous driving features, as well as personality-filled curves and playful details that make it live up to the promise of a microbus that can be both nostalgic and futuristic.

The fact that the ID. Buzz is an EV is actually what made the design, with its fidelity to the T1 Microbus, possible. That’s because electric motors are much smaller than combustion engines, so it allows for the bus to have that iconic flat front.

“You couldn’t stick a combustion engine in the front of this vehicle and still achieve the design,” Jeffrey Lear, Volkswagen’s sales and marketing product manager, said when Mashable took a sneak peek at the car prior to the launch. “The concept just doesn’t work.” 

That’s a pretty cute behind for a bus, TBH.
Credit: Volkswagen

But there’s some sad news for Americans. The ID. Buzz is only coming out this year for Europeans, who will be able to order it in 2022 and take delivery in 2023. The American version will debut in 2023, and go on sale in 2024. 

There are some significant differences between the American and European versions, too. Most notably, the Euro version is a five seater, with just one back row (and plenty of trunk space). The American ID. Buzz will be longer and have a third row, ‘cuz of course, bigger is better in ‘Murica.

Necessary delayed gratification for Americans aside, the ID. Buzz is one very cute car. Sure, it has an 82 kWh battery powering a 201-hp electric motor with maximum torque of 229lb-ft. But have you seen the two-tone colors the exterior comes in?! Or noticed that the two-tone color scheme continues on the interior, too? 

The driver's seat interior of the ID. Buzz shows a steering wheel and center console.
Check out the “pause” and “play” pedals.
Credit: Volkswagen
The back row bench of the ID. Buzz features three seats and yellow details.
A roomy and cheerful third row.
Credit: Volkswagen

It’s also built with Volkswagen’s Modular Electric DriveKit (MEB), which is a series of specs and capabilities for the guts and computer that power other VW EVs, like the ID.4. That means it gets integrated driving directions into the dashboard and has some autonomous driving features, like “adaptive” cruise control. Also, the truly massive front logo sitting in between wide-set headlights make the car look like it’s got a sorta stoned, goofy grin.

The front of the ID. Buzz shows a large front logo that makes the car look like it has a face.
The ID. Buzz certainly has personality!
Credit: Rachel Kraus / Mashable

The ID. Buzz is also set up for those trying to live the #vanlife. The trunk is huge, and customers can opt for an attachment that slides into the trunk and over the flattened back row seats, creating a platform for a mattress. There are USB charging ports everywhere, and even wireless charging for the driver’s seat.

The back of the bus shows flattened seats and a wide open trunk.
Home sweet home.
Credit: Volkswagen

There’s no pricing information available yet. But if you’re looking for a roomy and highly aesthetic activity vehicle, get ready to open those wallets.

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