The stretched version of Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz retro EV has been revealed ahead of its in-the-metal world premiere at Huntington Beach near Los Angeles.
The company calls it “perfectly primed for its launch in North America” where it plans to celebrate “Volkswagen Bus Day”, but it’ll also be rolled out across Europe.
The stretched ID. Buzz adds 250mm to the wheelbase and overall length (4962mm), making room for a third row of seats – making seven in total, up on the shorter model’s five.
The longer wheelbase also frees up space for a larger 85kWh battery pack, up from 77kWh in the launch model, with VW promising added range despite the extra weight being a factor, citing the fitment of a new efficiency-boosting heat pump.
For context, Volkswagen claims the standard wheelbase, single motor ID. Buzz has an energy consumption rate of 21.7-20.5kWh/100km on the WLTP cycle, which equates to a range of between 402km and 423km.
The larger ID. Buzz will also be available with a new rear-mounted 210kW electric drive motor, up on the shorter version’s 150kW.
This power bump is said to slash the 0-100km/h time to 7.9 seconds, down from 10.2s in the shorter version. The top speed has also been bumped from 145km/h to 160km/h.
The dual-motor all-wheel drive GTX version, with power output of 250kW (220kW in the shorter version), arrives in 2024. VW says it’ll complete the 0–100 km/h sprint in 6.4s.
Other new features launched in the larger electric VW Bus include a head-up display, an upgraded “next-generation” infotainment system, and remote parking via smartphone.
A newly designed panoramic sunroof with smart glass brings back memories of the legendary ‘Samba Bus’ of the ‘50s, VW claims.
It’s the biggest glass roof the company has made for a production car at 1.5 square-metres, and can change from clear to opaque via touch slider or voice command.
North American versions will also feature air-conditioned seats and an illuminated Volkswagen logo on the front, the company claims.
Delivery of the first ID. Buzz vehicles in America will start in 2024. “Almost parallel” to the market launch in North America, the ID. Buzz longer wheelbase will launch in Europe.
Like the Multivan and the Transporter T6.1, all ID. Buzz vehicles are to be produced at the main plant of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hanover.
“Volkswagen is an extremely strong global brand with a great history, millions of loyal fans and legendary products. This is clearly evident here at the largest VW Bus festival in the USA,” claims Volkswagen brand chief Thomas Schäfer.
“I am therefore delighted that the team at Volkswagen Group of America is celebrating the premiere of the ID. Buzz with long wheelbase here. With this model, we are taking a big step towards becoming a true love brand again.”
Board member of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Lars Krause added it was “of utmost importance to us that we can now offer the people of North America a modern, all-electric new edition with the ID. Buzz in an iconic design”.
The longer version will likely be limited to higher-volume US and Europeans markets at first before making its way to Australia – but perhaps not for long given the company’s local arm is bullish on the retro-special.
Volkswagen Australia has previously said it wants both the GTX and three-row model, noting around 30 per cent of T6.1 sales – which includes the current Multivan – are of all-wheel drive models and that a three-row variant is a “no brainer”.
“The ID.Buzz is a people mover that stops traffic, people stop, stare and smile. It’s an incredible blend of style and function that will capture the imagination of Australians – and is reflected by our ambitious sales volumes,” said Volkswagen Australia commercial vehicles director Ryan Davies in March this year, referring to the regular SWB.