The new Buzz Cargo has been presented as an elegant all-electric entrant into the commercial and people transport space for Volkswagen. Described as “near-production” concepts, they are built on VW’s modular MEB platform that underpins the rest of the ID range.
The standard wheelbase model unveiled this week will go on sale in Europe in the third quarter of this year, with an 82 kWh battery and five seats for the passenger version, while the ID. Buzz Cargo features the same specifications in a more utilitarian electric panel pickup truck package. U.S. customers will have to wait until 2024 to get its Buzz version, which will be offered only in an extended wheelbase version next year. There are no plans to sell the variant of this truck in North America, at least for the time being.
Load versions and short wheelbase
The new Buzz model will initially be offered in Europe with a five-seat (two-row) configuration. The manufacturer says a six-seater (housing three rows of two seats) on the standard wheelbase is scheduled for release at a later date. The extended wheelbase version will land in Europe next year and will be offered as seven seats, with a 2/3/2 configuration. The Cargo variant is offered with a driver’s seat and a two-seat passenger bench at the front, or two individual seats.
Both the DNI. Buzz and the ID Buzz Cargo measure 1,985 mm (78.2 inches) wide and 4,712 mm (185.5 inches) long, about 192 mm (7.6 inches) shorter than VW’s T6.1 van. Both the DNI. Buzz and the T6.1 also share the same 2988 mm (118 in) wheelbase. Buzz’s height is 1937 mm (76.3 inches) for the passenger version and 1 mm higher for the cargo variant due to differences in chassis.
A battery option for now
Volkswagen has not yet revealed an estimated driving range, but they have indicated that this new model will feature an 82 kWh (77 kWh net) battery for the initial European launch. It will provide power to a 201-horsepower (150 kW) electric motor with 229 lb-ft (310 Nm) of torque. The engine is connected to the rear axle. A wider range of battery options with different power outputs will be available next year, but Volkswagen has yet to reveal any details.
European models will be able to take advantage of “bidirectional charging”, a feature that the Buzz model feeds the network by stabilizing the power, although this will require the installation of a bidirectional wall box. When it comes to conventionally recharging the electric van, the ID. Buzz can handle AC power at 11 kW or DC fast charging at 170 kW, allowing for 5 to 80 percent recharging in 30 minutes.
More charging systems
When it goes on sale, the new van will also take advantage of VW’s “Plug & Charge” system, which aims to eliminate the hassle of entering payment information or requiring users to carry credit cards with them. With Plug & Charge the DNI. Buzz can be connected to a compatible fast charging station, where all authentication and identification material will be exchanged directly between the connection point and the van. Invoicing is done through the ‘We Charge’ contract with Volkswagen. and is said to take seconds, with multiple service providers already registered.
A retro-modern aesthetic
The Buzz model is set to change the heritage of Volkswagen’s T1 Microbus, with short overhangs at the front and rear and retro-inspired design elements. The large VW logo, stacked taillights and wide V-shaped bonnet go all out to evoke memories of the iconic predecessor, albeit the lower lattice grille and optional dynamic “IQ”. Light” Matrix LED lights frame a design for the future.
The ID.Buzz features glossy two-tone paint options, though a range of unique colors are also available. The spectrum consists of a total of eleven colour variants, seven single colour options, namely ‘Candy White’, ‘Mono Silver’, ‘Lime Yellow’, ‘Starlight Blue’, ‘Energetic Orange’, ‘Bay Leaf Green’ and ‘Deep Black’? and four two-tone options. The upper section of the Buzz models, which include the roof and bonnet, always have a Candy White finish, while the lower area can be ‘Lime Yellow’, ‘Starlight Blue’, ‘Energetic Orange’ or ‘Bay Leaf Green’.
The higher-spec passenger versions of the ID.Buzz will be mounted on aluminum alloy wheels in a range of 18 to 21 inches, though the base passenger and Cargo variants will have 18-inch steel wheels.
The interior is a colorful place
The new Buzz is of the vegan type, with leather replaced by synthetics, and a part of the interior is derived from recycled materials. The steering wheel is covered in polyurethane that is said to look and feel like leather, while the materials used for the seat covers, floor coverings and ceiling cladding incorporate Seaqual thread, which is made up of 10 percent collected ocean plastic and 90 percent recycled PET bottles.
The cabin features a 10-inch digital display combined with a 10-inch infotainment system that can be replaced with an optional 12-inch unit. Sliders and touch buttons are used to operate the HVAC controls. There is an outlet near the central rearview mirror to power a dashcam.
Higher trim levels will feature electrically adjustable seats with memory and massage functions. With the wheelbase extended, the vehicle on which the North American model will be based, a seven-seat configuration will also be available in a 2/3/2 arrangement.
Practicality remains a priority
Being a minivan, attention has naturally also been paid to practicality. The rear features a hatch that opens upwards, and both sides of the passenger version include sliding doors. The three-person rear bench can be split 40:60 and slid back and forth to increase the space for rear luggage, which stands at 1,121 liters (39.6 cubic feet).
There is also an optional removable centre console that has been developed by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, but is available in both passenger and cargo versions. This multifunctional box features storage compartments (in the case of the Cargo, a cup holder), a 1.4-liter folding lid compartment for a water bottle, and a 5-liter drawer to accommodate tablets or laptops.
European customers will have it by the end of this year
The new Buzz will be produced by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at its main plant in Hannover, and will start in the first half of 2022. Prices are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.