Volkswagen has confirmed plans to start manufacturing a fully electric successor to the VW Microbus, with a launch expected as soon as 2022.
Earlier this year, at the Detroit motor show, Volkswagen debuted the I.D. Buzz concept car, a re-imagining of the iconic 60s VW Microbus that was powered entirely by electricity. But it seems Volkswagen’s wacky concept went down better than expected amongst car fans, prompting the automaker to double down on the idea.
In a press release sent out over the weekend, Volkswagen confirmed that the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz would soon enter production, and would arrive at dealerships in 2022, after the four-door electric Volkswagen I.D. makes it debut. VW says it will mainly target “markets in North America, Europe and China” with its new Microbus, which means the UK is likely to get a look in.
Speaking about the news, Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said: “After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car’.”
He continued: “The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle.”
As was the case with the concept version, the production I.D. Buzz model will have batteries mounted in the vehicle floor. The electric drive components don’t take up as much space as a conventional combustion engine would either, which means the I.D. Buzz features a long wheelbase with short overhangs, allowing for a spacious interior and impressive proportions: “The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV,” said Diess.
Volkswagen also confirmed that as well as a passenger model, there will also be an I.D. Buzz Cargo variant “for zero-emissions delivery of goods”, as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz explains: “With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities.”
The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz is inspired by the original Microbuses, from which it will be separated by more than seven decades. The sixties-style Microbuses are now a collectible vehicle, and have a significant cult following – something Volkswagen will be keen to exploit with the new electric vehicle.
Pricing for the new vehicle hasn’t been announced just yet, but we’ve got a load more images you can check out in the meantime:
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