PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Volkswagen A.G. confirmed plans to build a production version of its all-electric ID Buzz van in 2022 for consumer and commercial applications.
The van — or microbus in VW parlance — will have Level 3 autonomous capabilities in the commercial version. The Buzz will be one of three electric vehicles VW is planning for its MEB architecture. The family of EVs includes the ID Crozz SUV and the ID hatchback.
The auto maker confirmed its plans last week in Pebble Beach, channeling the California lifestyle that helped turn Volkswagen's Bus from the 1960s into an icon.
"The Microbus, which is what the Bulli is called in America, has always been part of the California lifestyle," Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO, said in a statement ahead of the debut. "Now we're bringing it back by reinventing the Bulli as an electric vehicle."
The production Buzz will be 194.5 inches long — 8.5 inches shorter than a Honda Odyssey minivan and 4 inches shorter than a Ford Explorer. It will be built at the Hanover, Germany, plant where all six earlier generations of VW's van were built. It will be exported throughout Europe, the U.S. and China.
Because of the compact powertrain and flexible platform architecture, VW is promising the Buzz will have variable seating configurations. While only the commercial iteration was announced with Level 3 autonomy, VW previously said all ID models would be fully autonomous by 2025.
Volkswagen didn't disclose the Buzz's range though the concept version had about 270 miles of range on the EPA test cycle for its two-motor, 369-hp system. The range of the production version is expected to be higher than that by the time the Buzz hits the road next decade.
You can reach David Undercoffler at [email protected] — Follow David on Twitter: @autonews_west