Automotive

Volkswagen's I.D. Buzz autonomous electric Kombi van gets production nod

Volkswagen is set to put the I.D. Buzz into production in 2022
Volkswagen is set to put the I.D. Buzz into production in 2022
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: rear storage capacity
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: rear storage capacity
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: classic lines
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: classic lines
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: natty lighting systems may or may not make the final release
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: natty lighting systems may or may not make the final release
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: eye of the Kombi
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: eye of the Kombi
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: reclaiming the surfer spirit of the original Kombi vans
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: reclaiming the surfer spirit of the original Kombi vans
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: cameras instead of side mirrors, at least on the concept vehicle
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: cameras instead of side mirrors, at least on the concept vehicle
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: spacious in its seven-seater minivan format
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: spacious in its seven-seater minivan format
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: due to hit the market in 2022, by which time all fans of previous Kombis will likely have expired
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: due to hit the market in 2022, by which time all fans of previous Kombis will likely have expired
Volkswagen is set to put the I.D. Buzz into production in 2022
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Volkswagen is set to put the I.D. Buzz into production in 2022
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: built on Volkswagen's modular electric drive kit
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: built on Volkswagen's modular electric drive kit
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: the silhouette is a little more aerodynamic, to help squeeze extra range out of the battery
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: the silhouette is a little more aerodynamic, to help squeeze extra range out of the battery
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: spacious interior
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: spacious interior
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: funky pedals
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: funky pedals
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: nifty steering wheel pushes into the dash to engage autonomous drive mode
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: nifty steering wheel pushes into the dash to engage autonomous drive mode
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: this doesn't look much like a production door design to me, but we'll see
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: this doesn't look much like a production door design to me, but we'll see
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: idiot lights 
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: idiot lights 
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: we hope the distinctive removable dash and stereo will make it to the production version
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: we hope the distinctive removable dash and stereo will make it to the production version
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: dual sunroof setup
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: dual sunroof setup
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: spacious, movable seats
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: spacious, movable seats
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: van doors either side
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: van doors either side
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: comfy looking rear seats
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: comfy looking rear seats
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: North America and its coastal surfer culture are the prime targets for the "New Kombi"
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: North America and its coastal surfer culture are the prime targets for the "New Kombi"
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: on sale in 2022 according to a recent press release
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: on sale in 2022 according to a recent press release
Volkswagen's I.D. Buzz will come in microbus and commercial delivery versions
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Volkswagen's I.D. Buzz will come in microbus and commercial delivery versions
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: battery range will be improved by a slightly more aerodynamic front aspect
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: battery range will be improved by a slightly more aerodynamic front aspect
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: unlikely to receive the all-wheel drive, 369 horsepower beast of a powertrain from the concept car, but who knows?
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: unlikely to receive the all-wheel drive, 369 horsepower beast of a powertrain from the concept car, but who knows?
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: the Kombi van returns... in about five years' time
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: the Kombi van returns... in about five years' time
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: natty looking future focused retro mobile
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Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: natty looking future focused retro mobile

When Volkswagen showed its I.D. Buzz concept in Detroit in January, reinventing the iconic Kombi van as an autonomous electric microbus, the general reaction was "Yawn. We've seen enough concept Kombis over the years, wake me when they build the damn thing."

That was a pity, because the I.D. Buzz had some interesting ideas in it, like an augmented reality HUD, laser-guided self driving capability, video cameras instead of mirrors, and the ability to remove both the dash (as an infotainment tablet) and the car audio system (for outdoor tunes when you get to the beach).

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: we hope the distinctive removable dash and stereo will make it to the production version
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: we hope the distinctive removable dash and stereo will make it to the production version

But it now seems the I.D. Buzz is headed for production, as Volkswagen announced over the weekend at Monterey Car Week that it'll go on sale as a modified production version in 2022, targeted mainly at the US, Europe and China.

Final specifications are yet to be defined, but we doubt we'll see the I.D. Buzz coming out with the full 369-hp (275-kW) all-wheel drive powertrain that the concept had. It won't be fully autonomous, either. Volkswagen says it'll have level 3 self-driving capabilities upon launch, but has hinted that full autonomy should be possible by 2025.

The I.D. Buzz will come in two versions – a Kombi-style microbus and a commercial city delivery van that'll take advantage of the huge cargo capacity you get when all your batteries and drivetrain are stored flat along the floor.

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: battery range will be improved by a slightly more aerodynamic front aspect
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: battery range will be improved by a slightly more aerodynamic front aspect

No information is available yet on power, battery capacity, price, or whether the removable dash and stereo will be part of the production model. Hell, the release date is five years away, so god only knows what the automotive sector is going to look like by then. By some estimates, it's already going to be cheaper and more convenient to rent cars as a service than to buy one by then.

So congratulations Volkswagen, I guess. I look forward to seeing this thing on the road sometime in the future. Until then, there are a ton more photos in the gallery.

Source: Volkswagen

3 comments
KaiserPingo
Looks a lot more like a Toyota Previa/Estima/Tarago 1'-gen., than an old VW Bus ... VAG is so far behind in EV's, that its embarrasing, and now they are working to get the German state/EU to fund VAG's developments, happily helped by Merkel, as she states in her election campaign !
flylowguy
Probably going to be priced for rich hippies.
anthony88
Mobile hotel room for tourists. Spend day site seeing in city 1. Get in van and sleep while it drives to city 2.