As promised, Volkswagen revealed their second I.D. concept vehicle, the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz at the North American International Auto Show.
By announcing the VW I.D. Buzz, Volkswagen has solidified a promise they made back at Paris Motor Show last year. They promised that the I.D. concept would be the platform for all of their future electric vehicles, and this is now the second vehicle that has been announced on that platform.
The Buzz is essentially a Volkswagen microbus for the modern consumer. This is also the third time that Volkswagen has released a microbus concept. Hopefully this time, with it being an I.D. concept, it will actually make it to production. The concept comes with automated driving technology, which is why you’ll be able to turn both front seats 180-degrees so that all the seats face the centre of the vehicle around a table. VW are therefore hoping that their automated driving systems become powerful enough that the driver no longer needs to look out the window, and don’t need to be ready to take control of the vehicle.
Volkswagen says that the Buzz concept can seat up to eight people. This seems to be possible thanks to a simple rail system along the floor that appears to let you clip in, or remove, seats and sections along the floor. For example, if you wanted six seats and a table, you would be able to configure the vehicle to your needs. VW wants to Buzz to be completely flexible.
In a world where electric car companies are fighting to make the fastest vehicle with the sleekest designs, Volkswagen seem to be focussing on the value of being able to relax thanks to innovations in automated driving, and allowing the self-driving experience to be a completely different mode of transport. That being said, the minibus will still pack 369bhp.
"The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture." Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the VW brand
The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz has an estimated range of 270 miles off a single charge. It’s unclear whether that’s with eight people occupying the car, or the best possible range with the lightest weight inside the minibus. Either way, it’s a good range for a vehicle of this type.
The spacious interior, and the flexible layouts that can be configured inside it, are all possible thanks to the I.D. platform that has the thin battery underneath the floor allowing for larger open space for the designers to work with. There is plenty of room for seating, sleeping or luggage.