Flower power meets electric power – VW aims to cleanse its U.S. image

What VW is describing as “The new era of electric mobility” has rolled up at the Detroit Motorshow in the form of a modern day Campervan, bringing along with it a nostalgic, warm fuzzy feeling.

Many other ‘microbus’ concepts have come and gone over the years, namely the Bulli and most recently the BUDD-e, but with the new ID-Buzz the German giant is getting serious.  The introduction of this showcar in Detroit is an attempt to reignite the love for the VW brand in American hearts.

Volkswagen wants America to forget about the emissions scandal we all know as DIESELGATE and look to the future in the NEW VOLKSWAGEN.

The first vehicle from this stable was the ID, revealed at the Paris Autoshow in 2016 and built on the new MEB platform.  The Modularer Elektrobaukasten is VW’s modular building kit specifically for electric vehicles.  With the ID becoming a reality in 2020, further models are surely to follow, with rumours of an SUV and hopefully this microbus.

Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen commented:

” The I.D. BUZZ stands for the new Volkswagen: modern, positive, emotional, future-orientated. By 2025, we want to sell one million electric cars per year, making e-mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen. The new e-Golf already offers 50 percent more electric range. From 2020 onwards we will then launch our I.D. family, a new generation of fully electric, fully connected cars. It will be affordable for millions, not just to millionaires.”

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Design focus

The BUZZ is all about the design.  Yes, it could be autonomous out of the box, but in reality a VW Campervan is vehicle you want to seen driving….. With more than passing resemble to the Type 1 camper, with two-tone paint and the sweeping Vee shape upfront evoking everything we know and love about the 1950s icon, however this one will slightly quicker off the mark.

Equipping the BUZZ with a zero emission all-wheel drive system with output power of 275 kW / 374 PS (electric motors front and rear each delivering 150 kW) is the perfect match for the car’s dynamic character. The version of the I.D. BUZZ presented in Detroit reaches 60mph in 5 seconds; its top speed is restricted to 100mph.

The use of space in the concept car, which has up to eight seats, is better than in any other electric vehicle with multi-variable seating like that seen in the latest Type 6 People Carrier.  Thanks to the extended MEB XL platform, this 4,942 mm long, 1,976 mm wide and 1,963 mm high concept vehicle provides what for its class are extraordinary spatial dimensions inside as well.

At 3,300 mm, it has an extremely long wheelbase. Located in between the vehicle floor is the battery. It lowers the centre of gravity and ensures perfect weight distribution. The suspension of the I.D. BUZZ, with its electronically regulated shock absorbers, additionally ensures top-class comfort.

Watch the video tour of the show car below with interviews with key VW personnel about the future of electric;

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.