The U.S. Version Of The Volkswagen ID.Buzz Retro Electric Van Is Going To Get Longer And Faster

Volkswagen Id.buzz

While Americans will have to wait until 2024 for the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, a North American launch is far from the only thing to look forward to regarding the ID.Buzz line. The German brand put out a really neat slide deck for investors on the future of the reborn microbus, and it’s full of interesting details. Let’s take a look at what Volkswagen has planned for the ID.Buzz, starting with a seven-seat variant.

Id Buzz Seven Seats
Screenshot: Volkswagen

Interestingly, the seven-seat version adopts a 2-3-2 seating layout, with a three-person bench in the middle. While this is great news for occasional third-row users, it doesn’t provide walk-through access for families really looking to get the most out of the third row. However, this configuration could very well change by the time the ID.Buzz comes to America as it appears the three-row model pictured is based on the European short wheelbase variant.

Screen Shot 2022 10 14 At 1.42.28 Pm

Interestingly enough, there is a teaser of an extended-wheelbase ID.Buzz in an earlier slide. However, just because a silhouette exists doesn’t mean it’s to scale. After all, if I just use absolutely the bare minimum effort in Photoshop to sort-of, kind-of stretch the ID.Buzz’s wheelbase to match the new silhouette, I end up with something like this.

Id Buzz Long Wheelbase
Screenshot: Volkswagen

Yeah, I don’t know about the execution here, and save for moving the whole B-pillar back, this might essentially be the most elegant way of doing a long-wheelbase ID.Buzz. It’s possible that Volkswagen will add metal both to the rear door and aft of the rear door, but we won’t know until the camo comes off. That being said, long-ass sliding doors might actually enhance third-row entry and egress should American models stick with a 2-3-2 seating configuration. After all, why go to the trouble of re-engineering seats?

Alright, moving on. All-wheel-drive isn’t a surprising addition at all, given how the ID.4 is available with motors front and rear. All-wheel-drive is pretty important if you’re going to sell a car in North America’s snow belt, and the same 295 horsepower as the all-wheel-drive ID.4 would make the ID.Buzz quite sprightly for a tower block on wheels. There’s something amusingly perverse about sitting nine yards off the ground while clicking off a reasonably quick zero-to-sixty time, so fingers crossed the all-wheel-drive ID.Buzz achieves that sensation.

Id Buzz Gtx Teaser
Screenshot: Volkswagen

Finally, here’s something more exciting – there’s a hot GTX version of the ID.Buzz coming. Performance vans aren’t exactly common, so it’s nice that Volkswagen’s launching a one-box cannonball into the weird car pool. I wouldn’t expect any more power than a standard model with the big battery pack and all-wheel-drive, but expect sports suspension and some natty visual alterations at the minimum. Actually, think 2011 Toyota Sienna SE but electric. I’d be quite alright with that.

While the ID.Buzz made quite a splash for a concept finally executed more than 20 years after the 2001 Microbus concept, it’s clear that Volkswagen is far from done with its reborn bus. While the standard ID.Buzz offers a fairly uneventful driving experience, more power and an available sporty trim should liven things up nicely.

Lead photo credit: Volkswagen

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45 Responses

  1. Is it the rebirth of the king door? Only in the back this time?

    I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t just be a different body shell on the same id4 skateboard. Those numbers would and variants would all be fine

  2. This is exactly what I want. Being in the “haul copious amount of kid crap” and “want a larger vehicle for trips” phase of life, this is a vehicle that meets 95% of my driving needs. And I have a utility trailer for the other 4.5%. That last 0.5%, whatever. AWD for slick roads and campsites, easy in and out, and space for everyone to enjoy a little elbow room. Depending on what the warmer version entails, that may well be a good choice. If the VW USA dealers don’t jack the price because Boomers have deep pockets….

      1. Sorry, gotta disagree with you. A couple boomers in my extended family (including me) are seriously considering it as our next vehicle. I’d order it with no 3rd row seats and hope the second row seats are removable. They’d sit in the barn most of the time. The big question for me is what the towing capacity will be.

        1. IIRC it’s 2700 lbs or so. Similar to other MEB platform vehicles. Plenty for a small, aerodynamic camper. Or hauling a motorcycle, quad, or similar. My optimistic hope is that since it’s a brick the range hit won’t be as bad compared to a sleeker vehicle.

          1. I don’t think “sleeker” would help much – it’s already got a Cd of .285. That’s reasonably slippery. It’s the size of the frontal area that makes up the drag. Only way to reduce it is to make the thing smaller, and that’s not what this vehicle is about.

      2. They may well have a desire for an original Bus, but not want to pay the eye-watering prices those are going for. At about $50k plus the inevitable markup this is a more affordable alternative.

        It depends on how tightly VWoA reins in the dealers. If VW wants to get butts into seats telling dealers that markups are unacceptable and enforcing it will keep prices at MSRP. Otherwise this will be another vehicle that flops because of dealer greed. Which is too bad because they’re making good EV’s.

        1. Production will determine price. If the dealer can order as many as he wants expect MSRP. IF he gets 1 figure JACK IT UP. The dealers costs are fixed, building. utilities etc. If he only gets 1 he needs to make bank. Frankly I don’t get manufacturers creating a bunch of hype or spending huge advertising dollars on a vehicle they are making in small numbers. Look at the Bronco. Huge hype huge demand huge mark up. And huge headaches especially when 1st year Production problems were discovered.

  3. Other markets typically preferred the 2-3-2 layout for MPVs, so that makes sense here. I’m sure typically narrower MPVs in other markets having less room for a 3-across 3rd row between the wheel wells contributed too, but they also often had doors on both sides (Espace had swing-out doors). The 2-2-3 layout made sense when there was a single side door to allow access to the 3rd-row and then stuck around as the standard for the U.S. but I always liked the idea of the 5+2/3 layout. (by now most kind of are that way though)

    They’ll surely have some kind of split to the bench, Transit Connect I think is 60/40 on the 7-passenger versions. VW could offer captain’s chairs for the middle row for U.S. models since that is the popular setup here and they offer the Atlas as such, but it’s also VW in the U.S. market so who knows.

    I know it’s just for a presentation but the AWD logo looks like the same as Chrysler used for the ’90s minivans?

  4. ” That being said, long-ass sliding doors might actually enhance third-row entry and egress should American models stick with a 2-3-2 seating configuration”

    I don’t see how a bigger door would help when the track for the door hasn’t changed size, there is no room for to slide any further out of the way.

  5. For all of you wanting it shorter or hybrid, here’s why that won’t sell:

    Shorter:
    A shorter one wouldn’t sell because the Sienna and Odyssey exist here in the States. In both of those vans they have a generous cargo area behind the 3rd row. Having 3 rows with zero cargo area past the 3rd row sucks. Nobody wants their groceries under their feet.

    Hybrid:
    The nose would be way too long. Or the ICE would intrude into the passenger area. It wouldn’t look right. And Toyota has this space covered with the Sienna. Honestly, between a Toyota or VW hybrid van, which would most buyers pick? A plug-in hybrid would be saddled with all those compromises plus needing a bigger battery and electric motor. The EU is cracking down on PHEV’s since shocker, they don’t get plugged in.

    In summary, VW didn’t have a choice but to make it LWB and electric to make a compelling product for the US.

    1. “A shorter one wouldn’t sell because the Sienna and Odyssey exist here in the States. In both of those vans they have a generous cargo area behind the 3rd row. Having 3 rows with zero cargo area past the 3rd row sucks.”

      I have a 1st gen Mazda 5 and even with the 3rd row up I can fit a weeks worth of groceries in the cargo area. Those seats also split so for more room I can just flip one 3rd row down.

      “Nobody wants their groceries under their feet.”

      Insert “worlds smallest violin playing” meme…

    2. “A shorter one wouldn’t sell because the Sienna and Odyssey exist here in the States.”

      This is like saying “Nobody will buy a twin bed because California King exists.”

      The only reason I do not own a minivan is because the ones available in the USA are TOO BIG. The first manufacturer to put out a shorter 3-row van will get my money. I don’t even care what kind of powertrain it has.

      [And no, the discontinued Transit Connect & Promaster City penalty boxes do not count.]

    1. Beg to disagree. A hybrid would make the nose longer or have a doghouse to roast front seat occupant’s feet. VW doesn’t have a pancake engine anymore. And all the ICE-specific stuff would be taking up space under the van and raising the entry height. Plus the inconvenience of a door being blocked during refueling. And ICE maintenance would be a pain in that tiny engine bay.

      1. “VW doesn’t have a pancake engine anymore.”

        Licence the boxer twin from BMW and replace the gearbox with a generator. You don’t need much engine for a REX.

        “And all the ICE-specific stuff would be taking up space under the van and raising the entry height. Plus the inconvenience of a door being blocked during refueling. And ICE maintenance would be a pain in that tiny engine bay.”

        If BMW could make it work in the i3 a decade ago I’m pretty sure VW can do it today in a far larger vehicle.

  6. Everything has been sold as “sporty” forever, and folks honestly lap it up.

    I’m honestly surprised that marketing tactic hasn’t infested other industries.

    Who wouldn’t want a house with a “sport kitchen”?

  7. Disappointed that they aren’t building something to cater to regular families with 11 children and 3 wives.

    Oh well, motorcars are tools of the devil anyway…

      1. We need to get rid of non-tariff regulatory barriers that make the US car market a Galapagos Islands situation, so that if a manufacturer decides not to sell a particular model or variant here, people or businesses can buy one or several overseas and privately import them.

        1. Some kind of restrictions seem necessary, though. There are good reasons to want cars to meet some kind of safety and emissions standards. What I’d prefer is if the US, Europe, Japan, and other developed industrial economies could harmonize those standards.

          They’re already mostly functionally equivalent, and it’s inefficient making multiple slightly different versions of a car, and then running them through multiple slightly different versions of destructive testing. That’s why manufacturers don’t always bother. If we all used the same standards, the barrier to manufacturers selling over here would be much lower.

          Alternatively, I’d settle for the US just admitting that cars originally intended for sale in [insert list of countries here] are close enough and are eligible for import, perhaps with minor modifications (e.g. headlight beam pattern, for cars from RHD countries) that would need to be signed off on by a licensed mechanic before the car could be registered.

      2. 100% agree. This is my backup if Canoo announces that they will never ship, but the long base version is a no go. I just want a roomy car without wastefully large wheels. I don’t need to carry around a large family. What is the problem with having a version the size of a medium SUV?

        Oh, wait… probably they don’t want to mess with their SUV sales. ????

    1. A short wheelbase with a foldable 3rd row would be perfect for me. I could definitely make it work being able to haul either more stuff or more people without having to do both and it would be nice to have the smaller overall size.

    2. They’d sell a dozen. There’s a reason SWB minivans never sold well. For not much more the LWB offered a lot more usable cargo room behind the 3rd seat. Back when I grew up being toted around in a minivan nobody bought the SWB version unless they were the cheapskate grandparents. Seeing one on the road was jarring since they just didn’t sell. Opening the hatch on the LWB to chuck crap back there without much regard for organization was glorious.

      For the target customer who is in suburbia, space to park isn’t an issue. This needs to have a big cargo area past the 3rd row to be taken seriously here. Every other minivan has that capability. And no, getting bulky stuff like sports bags out a sliding door around a seat is a pain.

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