Currently reading: Volkswagen to put Microbus-inspired ID Buzz electric car into production
Retro-styled electric MPV, due to go on sale in 2022, will be capable of autonomous driving

Volkswagen will put the ID Buzz concept – an all-electric Microbus-inspired MPV capable of autonomous driving – into production, with the car due to go on sale in 2022.

The machine was first displayed at the Detroit motor show in January, and Volkswagen has now decided to launch a production version in Europe, the USA and China following strong public reaction. The decision was confirmed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance last weekend.

First drive: behind the wheel of the ID Buzz concept

Speaking at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said: “After the presentations at the global motor shows, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, 'please build this car'.

”The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we're bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle."

Vw id buzz rear1

While the styling of the ID Buzz evokes the legendary Type 2 van, first launched in 1949, the machine is built around the latest technology on Volkswagen’s new all-electric architecture. It will also feature Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities, meaning it will be able to drive itself with human supervision.

Volkswagen commits to electric future but says diesel remains 'indispensable'

The all-wheel-drive concept version is powered by 150kW two electric motors, with one in the nose section and the other by the rear axle, giving a total output of 369bhp. Torque is distributed between the two motors through an ‘electric propshaft’, and it can hit 62mph from rest in less than five seconds. Top speed is limited to 99mph.

The ID Buzz has a battery charge capacity of 111 kWh, giving a range of around 270 miles. The batteries are built into the floor to maximise interior space. Volkswagen says the ID Buzz’s architecture would also allow it to be fitted with a 268bhp rear-wheel-drive electric powertrain.

Back to top

The ID Buzz has a wheelbase of 3300mm and a turning circle of 10 metres. The machine’s variable interior – which is 4922mm long - can seat up to eight people.

Volkswagen says the interior has been designed for maximum usability, with a rail-based flexible seating layout. The third row of seats can be converted into a bed, in a nod to its Microbus inspiration.

As with the Type 2 that inspired it, a commercial version, the ID Buzz Cargo, will be produced by Volkswagen.

Diess said: “The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV.”

The ID Buzz concept features a touch-sensitive steering wheel, with an augmented reality head-up display and centre console tablet intended to replace much of the traditional driving instrumentation.

Vw id buzz wheel 2

First drive: Volkswagen ID Concept review

The ID Buzz will be capable of autonomous driving and will come fitted with VW’s ID Pilot autonomous driving system. The concept version features a steering wheel that retracts and decouples from the steering system when the ID Buzz is switched into its fully autonomous mode.

The future of the car: an Autocar guide (includes autonomous driving explainer)

Back to top

The concept doesn’t feature rear-view mirrors, instead using external cameras whose images are displayed on an ‘e-Mirror’ screen in the traditional location of the rear-view mirror. Again, it is unclear how much of this technology will make it to production versions of the ID Buzz.

Vw id buzz camera1

The ID Buzz will form part of Volkswagen’s ‘Together-Strategy 2025’ plan, which involves the firm investing £7.5 billion into developing more than 30 battery-powered models by 2025. The first new model from the firm will be the ID compact car.

Autocar has driven the Volkswagen ID Buzz concept in California. Read our initial impressions here.

Vw id buzz front1

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
A88A 20 August 2017


A well specced caravelle executive 4motion is around £80k, So £100,000 is my guess on the price of one of the autonomous, electric, vw executive microbus. That's if they ever build it, there's been several microbus concepts shown for about 15 years and vw still haven't put one into production.

StuM82 20 August 2017

Love it

I hope in the production version they retain the slim LED light clusters and all wheel drive.  If it has the sort of customisation options that Mini / Fiat 500 / DS3 have it would be so popular.  I know this isn't the usual sort of comment for Autocar but let's face it, it's not really going to set the world alight from a driving perspective.

smokescreen38 19 August 2017

VW microbus

As far as I know March ish 2018 I think the UK government is pulling the plug on the grant on the electric car. My guess is this is when the electric car sales collapse.
The price of this I estimate at £40k list. Compared to the normal Transporter price of circa £30k.
Sorry I won't bother.