Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ Microbus EV Concept Evokes Flower Power Hippiness, Delivers 270-Mile Range

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On the same day that a Volkswagen exec was arrested by the FBI for his part in the massive TDI emissions scandal, the German automaker has pulled the wraps of the latest in a long line of “Microbus” concept vehicles. The I.D. BUZZ is perhaps the most faithful of these concepts to the original Microbus, and probably the most promising when it comes to actual production possibilities.

The I.D. Buzz is being developed with two powertrain configurations. The base vehicle has a rear-wheel-drive layout with a single, 268 horsepower in the rear of the vehicle and an 83 kWh battery. A second, more powerful version features a second motor mounted up front for a combined 369 horsepower, and a 111 kWh battery pack. This combination is said to be good enough to allow the I.D. Buzz to hit 60 mph in 5 seconds flat and reach a top speed of 99 mph. Estimated driving range from the battery pack is rated at 270 miles in this configuration.

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“The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand. “That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market.”

The I.D. BUZZ is built on Volkswagen’s MEB-XL platform, and features a rather lengthy 129.9-inch wheelbase, while keeping overall length to just 194.6 inches. The minimal overhangs and tidy proportions are definitely in keeping with the spirit of the Minibus.

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Volkswagen also plans to equip production models of the I.D. BUZZ (if approved) with autonomous driving capabilities, which many automakers are planning to introduce early in the next decade. “The overall concept of the I.D. BUZZ points the way to the future,” added Volkswagen board member. Dr. Frank Welsch. “This concept vehicle is the world's first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be equipped with a fully autonomous driving mode. It carries the feeling of freedom of the Microbus over to a completely new era of mobility.”

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There’s no guarantee that the I.D. BUZZ will ever make it to production, but Volkswagen has been teasing the possibility of a Microbus replacement for well over a decade. Now is the time to act, and a production version of the I.D. Buzz would go a long way towards meeting Volkswagen’s goal of introducing 30 new EV models at a production rate of 2 to 3 million per year by 2025.