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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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.