Volkswagen of America has been desperate for a successor to the iconic Type 2 Microbus, commonly known as the Kombi in Australia. With the upcoming ID. Buzz LWB the North American output will finally have its prayers answered.
There’s practically no camouflage on this ID. Buzz LWB prototype, indicating there will be few, if any, styling changes to differentiate the SWB and LWB models beyond the obviously longer body.
Although our spy photography agency didn’t manage to catch a front-on shot of the LWB variant, it seems as though the lengthened ID. Buzz will wear the same face and tail as the SWB model currently on sale throughout Europe.
The rear overhang also looks unchanged, so all of the LWB’s extra length comes from its stretched wheelbase. In addition to the LWB’s enormous rear sliding doors we can also see a third row of seats, boosting seating capacity beyond the SWB’s five-person limit.
At the beginning of 2023, Volkswagen confirmed the ID.Buzz will seat up to seven people with two middle-row captain’s chairs that can swivelled around 180 degrees to face the three-person rear bench.
Some of these seats can be folded or even removed to improve cargo carrying capability.
The company has also confirmed the LWB will have a 3148mm wheelbase, a 250mm increase over the current SWB version. If our expectation about the rear overhang is correct, the ID. Buzz LWB will be 4962mm long.
Designed primarily for the North American market, the ID. Buzz LWB looks likely to be a fair bit shorter than the Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and Kia Carnival, which are all 5.16m or 5.17m long.
While it may be five to 37mm shorter than these rivals, the ID. Buzz LWB will boast a significantly longer wheelbase than any of those cars, which range from 3.0m to 3.09m.
For those interested, the ID. Buzz LWB will be approximately the same length as the Toyota Alphard that’s popular in Japan, China, and many parts of Asia.
The electric German people mover is 100mm wider, though, and will have a 148mm longer wheelbase.
As for motivation, the ID. Buzz LWB will be available with an twin-motor all-wheel drive layout, although outputs have yet to be announced.
While Volkswagen has confirmed there will be a 250kW ID. Buzz GTX, we’re not certain if this drivetrain will be offered in both SWB and LWB guises.
At present, the ID. Buzz SWB is sold in Europe exclusively with a 150kW/310Nm motor driving the rear wheels and connected to a 77kWh battery pack.
So equipped, the ID. Buzz takes a leisurely 10.2 seconds to complete the 0-100km/h standard.
The ID.Buzz LWB is expected to go on sale in the US from 2024, but Australian availability is unknown at this stage. The local arm is hoping to bring the SWB ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo to our shores from 2024 or 2025.