Martin Meiners

Motoring: Rebirth of an icon

Volkswagen have officially revealed the long awaited new ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo at a world première in Hamburg. As Europe's first all-electric bus and transporter range, these two zero-emission vehicles transfer the iconic design of the much-loved T1 – to the era of electric mobility.

The ID. Buzz comes with the latest ID. software and sets new standards in its segment with the latest systems and functions for safety, comfort and charging. The Buzz is also made and shipped with a carbon-neutral footprint – a first for an MPV and van range.

The ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo will hit the market in the first few European countries this autumn with advanced sales due to start in May. The European versions will come to market with a 77 kWh battery. It provides current to a 150 kW electric motor, which drives the rear axle.

The charging power when using alternating current (AC) is 11 kW. Via a CCS plug connector at a DC quick-charging station (direct current) the charging power increases to as much as 170 kW. When charged in this way, the battery charge level rises from 5 to 80% in about 30 minutes.

The unique design of the ID. Buzz is heavily inspired by the original T1 , an icon of the 1950s. “With the ID. Buzz, we are transferring this T1 DNA to the present day and thus into the era of electric mobility,” says Jozef Kabaň, Head of Volkswagen Design. "The ID. Buzz brings a lot of sympathy and proximity to people back to the road," the chief designer continues. And it is the proportions that make the ID. Buzz so unique.

Kaba creates a direct link with the original classic vehicle: “In the T1 you are practically sitting on top of the front axle – there’s no front overhang. For all its safety relevance and technology, the ID. Buzz has super short overhangs."

The designer sums up: “The ID. Buzz is timeless, sustainable and yet also extremely functional – that makes it unique.” Another feature that has always been typical of the model line is the iconic front with its V-shaped front panel between the charismatic LED headlights. That goes for the optional two-tone paintwork too.

One feature of the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo is the long wheelbase of 2,988 mm, roughly the same as that of the current T6.1. The length of both versions is 4,712 mm. By virtue of what, in relation to the overall length, is a very long wheelbase, optimal use is made of the vehicle footprint. Including roof aerial, the two versions of ID. Buzz measure, dependent on specification, 1,937 mm or 1,938 mm in height. At 1,985 mm, the new model is 81 mm wider than a T6.1. The turning circle of 11.1 metres, meanwhile, is unusually small.

The interior layout is very clear, the concept well thought through and utilisation of space optimal. In the lounge-like, friendly ambience of the MPV version, five people have ample room for travelling and for their luggage (1,121 litres of capacity). If the second row of seats is folded down, the load capacity increases to up to 2,205 litres. Two or three seats up front, as the customer desires, and a fixed partition separating off the 3.9 m3 cargo space are distinctive features of the ID. Buzz Cargo. The zero-emission cargo version can take two loaded euro pallets, loaded in transversely.

The ID. Buzz model line is being produced by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at its main plant in Hannover. Since 2022, the Hannover plant has been one of the Group's high-tech locations for the production of all-electric vehicles. The ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo leave the production line as zero-emission vehicles – they bear witness to a decision on mobility, with which their owners are able to counter the climatic challenges of our time.

While the ID. Buzz originates from Germany, its friendly face, retro design and electric drive system are sure to win a place in the hearts of Irish car lovers.

Alan Bateson, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland, said: “The ID. Buzz is a complete game changer for Irish motoring. Not only is it the first all-electric MPV and van to be made and shipped with a carbon neutral footprint, it brings the spirit of the original T1 to the cutting edge of vehicle design and technology. There has been a huge amount of interest in ID. Buzz ever since the Microbus prototype was unveiled in Detroit in 2000. Now that it is finally here, as a desirable family passenger car and highly-practical and versatile commercial vehicle, we can see what all the fuss was about.”