Volkswagen creates enthusiasm – The Irish News
VOLKSWAGEN’s ID electric cars have so far lacked personality, but this funky little truck, the ID.Buzz, is here to change that. writes William Scholes.
It’s a cutting-edge interpretation of VW’s classic Bulli-Van, with more flair and boldness in its design than anything else the company sells today.
The Buzz rides on the same platform we’ve already seen under the ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 crossover, which in this case means a 77kWh battery and a 201hp electric motor powering the rear wheels. Range is likely officially rated at around 280 miles, with real-world range being slightly shorter.
That’s pretty much taken for granted these days – you won’t buy the Buzz because it’s technically a step ahead of everything else.
Instead, you want one for its looks and the versatility it offers. In addition to the Buzz passenger car, there will be a van version, the Buzz Cargo. You can see why it lends itself to this type of use – it’s essentially a crate on wheels.
But boxes don’t usually look that stylish. Jozef Kaban, responsible for Volkswagen Design, talks about how the Buzz “brings a lot of sympathy and closeness to people back onto the road”.
The proportions of the vehicle make it look like nothing else on the road I find with a real nod to the original VW van. In it you basically sat on the front axle. That’s not practical these days, not least for security reasons, so you’re not that far ahead in the Buzz. Still, it has super-short overhangs, emphasizing its 3-meter wheelbase, pushing the wheels far into every corner.
“The ID.Buzz is timeless, sustainable and yet extremely functional – that makes it unique,” says Kabaş, who also points to the V-shaped front bezel between the headlights and the (optional) two-tone paint finish as features that pay homage to the classic VW van.
There’s also something refreshing about a new car that’s not another SUV. Perhaps the buzz will herald a resurgence in MPVs — the architecture of electric cars, with the battery and motor typically carried on a skateboard-style platform, lends itself particularly well to people carriers.
For now, VW is offering the Buzz as a “lounge-like” five-seater, complete with a 1,121-litre boot that expands to a volume of 2,205 liters with the rear seats folded.
The Buzz Cargo, on the other hand, is available with either two or three seats in the front, with a partition separating the 3.9 cubic meter loading area – big enough for two loaded Euro pallets.
When the time comes, expect longer wheelbases, more seats, different battery capacities and engines.
VW is clearly excited about the Buzz’s prospects. CEO Ralf Brandstätter describes him as no less than “a real icon of the electronic age”.
“A car that only Volkswagen can build. In the 1950s, the Volkswagen Bulli represented a new feeling of automotive freedom, independence and great emotion,” he says.
“The ID.Buzz picks up on this lifestyle and transfers it into our time: emission-free, sustainable, fully connected and now ready for the next big chapter: autonomous driving.”
The Buzz is slated to launch in Europe later this year. Don’t expect much change from £50k either…
A word of warning: The VW Group appears to be particularly hard hit by the chip shortages affecting the auto industry, with reports that electric cars are practically “sold out” for 2022.