The Volkswagen Bus is finally back, and it's coming with an entirely new body and a fully-electric powertrain. After years of promising fans to revive the iconic VW Bus, the German automaker has now finally unveiled the production version of the long-awaited remake.
The design of the 21st version of the classic VW Bus, called the ID Buzz, takes cues from its iconic ancestor. Volkswagen originally released the VW Bus back in 1950. It instantly became a cultural icon alongside its smaller sibling, the VW Beetle.
The Volkswagen T1 or Transporter was better known as the Microbus or just the Bus in the U.S. The Bus became connected with the Hippie movement in America, but it also served as a mode of transportation for big families decades before the minivan was conceived. The vintage Microbus has become a collector's choice. Six-figure prices have been paid for well-kept examples. A small Microbus is the world's most valuable Hot Wheels automobile, with a value of up to $150,000.
Volkswagen said it took inspiration from the design of the original Bus for the new ID Buzz. The company said the vehicle would be available with two-tone paint just like the original. The Microbus, like the Beetle, featured a tiny engine in the back. Similarly, the new VW ID. Buzz features an electric engine in the back that drives the van's rear wheels.
The new ID Buzz, which was officially unveiled to the world on Wednesday, will have up to 201 horsepower, significantly more than the two-digit horsepower of the traditional Bus. Volkswagen added that several variants of the Buzz with different powertrains would be unveiled later this year. The company hasn't revealed the ID's range on a full charge.
The electric Bus will be offered in two wheelbase lengths. In the United States, only the extended wheelbase variant will be available. The base version will seat five people, but a six-seater will be available later in the year. Seating for up to seven people will be available in the extended wheelbase variant.
The ID. Buzz will be available in Europe later this year, as announced on Tuesday. Pricing has yet to be announced by the company. Volkswagen has yet to reveal specific details about the changes that will come with the version that will be available in North America.
The Buzz's battery packs are hidden beneath the floor, giving the vehicle a low center of gravity. Its engineering is similar to those of other new Volkswagen electric cars, such as the ID.4 crossover SUV. Volkswagen Group, which owns brands such as Bentley, Porsche, and Audi, is significantly investing in electric cars and anticipates EV sales to account for 25% of total sales by 2026. The company line-up of fully-electric vehicles includes the Audi E-Tron, the Porsche Taycan, and the Volkswagen ID 4. The sales of those models accounted for around 5% of VW Group's global sales last year.