Volkswagen is gradually revealing more details about the production version of the ID.Buzz concept. We saw it as a heavily-camouflaged autonomous shuttle in September 2021, and the latest picture released by the German automaker shows the electric van with far less cladding.
While multi-colored camouflage fully covers the model, whose production name hasn’t been published yet, what you see in the image above is what dealers across the United States are scheduled to receive starting in 2023. It looks a lot like the design study presented in 2017 in the sense that it’s big, relatively boxy, and very clearly inspired by the rear-engined Bus that spent decades zig-zagging across the United States. Some styling cues have changed, however: the lower part of the front bumper has been redesigned, the futuristic-looking headlights were ditched for more realistic units, and the backlit Volkswagen emblem is gone from the front end. It also gains mirrors and door handles.
Overall, it looks like not much has been lost in the transition from a concept car to a production model, though we’ll wait until we see the Buzz in the metal to make a final judgment. And, like the concept, the production model will land with an electric powertrain. It’s built on the modular MEB platform that underpins a growing number of EVs, including the ID.4 crossover and the recently-unveiled ID.5, so Volkswagen will be able to offer rear- and all-wheel-drive variants. Short- and long-wheelbase versions will be available globally, but an earlier report claims that only the latter will be offered in the United States, where the van will be positioned as an upscale adventure-mobile.
Similarly, the same report claims the commercial version of the Buzz shown as a concept in 2018 will not make its way to our shores. Additional details, like driving range and pricing information, will be announced closer to the EV’s unveiling in 2022.
Even if we only get long-wheelbase people-hauling versions, what’s certain is that, after several false starts, the Volkswagen van will roam American roads again.