Volkswagen has confirmed that it will put into production an electric microbus based on the I.D. Buzz concept car.
The new vehicle will reach showrooms in 2022 and, says VW, will carry on the 70-year tradition of the VW Microbus.
Announcing the decision ahead of the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, VW CEO Dr Herbert Diess said: “This vehicle unites past and future as well as Pebble Beach and the Silicon Valley.
“The vehicle is an important pillar in Volkswagen’s electric drive initiative and carries the Microbus driving feeling into the future.”
The I.D. Buzz will be the second all-electric I.D. car from the German manufacturer, following a compact hatchback.
Diess said its production was partly down to customer demand for a 21st-century version of its iconic microbus. “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 said.
“The Microbus, which is what the Bulli is called in America, has always been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by developing Volkswagen’s next e-generation and by reinventing the Bulli as an electric vehicle.”
Specifications for the new vehicle are thin on the ground but the concept car is 4,942mm, 1,976mm wide and 1,963mm tall. Diess said the production version will look like a compact van from the outside but, thanks to the floor-mounted batteries and the arrangement of the electric drivetrain, offer the interior space of a large van. It will also feature variable seating, interactive connectivity and “ highly automated driving”.
VW say the I.D. Buzz will be built with either a single 268bhp motor driving the rear wheels or a twin-motor set up providing a total of 369bhp. Fitted with a 111 kWh lithium-ion battery, VW claims a range of up to 372 miles.
As well as the microbus passenger format, VW says it will produce a cargo variant of the van with level 3 autonomy.