270-Mile All-Electric VW I.D. Buzz Is the VW Bus Reimagined

Volkswagen’s all-electric I.D. Buzz Microbus Concept made its world debut at today’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The I.D. Buzz is part of VW’s plan to sell one million battery-electric vehicles worldwide by 2025 beginning with the I.D. hatchback in 2020, that was introduced at last year’s Paris Motor Show.

One of few EV concept cars at this year’s Detroit show, the I.D. Buzz is one of a long list of concept vans attempting to resurrect the Microbus styling that haven’t made it into production.

Technical details are sparse: under the floor is a 110-kWh lithium-ion battery pack sized to fit the 129-inch wheelbase, providing a projected driving range of 200 to 270 miles on the U.S. EPA test cycle.

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The battery can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity within 30 minutes using the Combined Charging System (CCS) or an inductive charging interface, with a charging rate of 150 kilowatts.

A 200-horsepower electric motor powers each set of wheels with a total output of 370 horsepower, good for a 0 to 60 mph sprint of around five seconds.

Volkswagen says the all-wheel drive I.D. Buzz could also be offered in a two-wheel drive version with an 83 kilowatt-hour battery and a rear 268 horsepower motor.

Built on VW’s Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), the I.D. Buzz measures 194.5-inches long by 77.8-inces wide and 77.3-inches in tall, providing interior space that’s close to the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey minivans.

Playing off the Microbus, the front end has the characteristic VW badge that is lit, but instead of round headlights designers chose slender LEDs that VW calls “eyes.”

Anticipating autonomous driving, the interior is more like a lounge than a people hauler, with front seats that swivel rearward, seatbacks of the center-row seats folding to form tables and third-row seats that convert into a bed.

An “ID Box” center console with a detachable tablet display can also be repositioned around the cabin or removed and used outside the vehicle with its Beats Bluetooth loudspeakers.

In full autonomous mode incorporating VW’s ID Pilot system, the round, spoke less steering wheel retracts and is augmented with a reality head up display (HUD).

If approved for production, the Vokswagen electric I.D. Buzz could reach dealer showrooms by 2022.