Modern electric Bus starts testing

Volkswagen’s electric successor to the iconic Microbus based on 2017’s ID Buzz concept vehicle has finally been spotted testing, albeit at a very early stage of the development.

Our spy shots show a test mule, where the new mechanical package is hidden beneath a makeshift body, in this case the modified body a T6-generation VW Transporter/Multivan.

It’s hard to spot exterior differences but it looks like the ID Buzz test mule’s wheelbase is slightly shorter than the wheelbase of the standard Transporter. Two wheelbase lengths are planned for the production model, with the United States expected to receive the longer version as standard. A shot of the interior reveals dash controls borrowed from existing VW ID models like the ID.4 compact crossover sold here and ID.3 compact hatch sold overseas.

2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz production model test mule spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The final design is likely to be tweaked significantly from what you see here and may have already been previewed in a teaser sketch of a self-driving ID Buzz (shown below) that’s slated to enter a commercial taxi service in 2025. The service will be run by VW Group’s Moia mobility division using a self-driving system developed by Argo AI, which VW Group is a major shareholder of.

The ID Buzz, which will likely be called something along the lines of ID.7 or ID.8 in production guise, is due to start sales in Europe in 2022. Unfortunately it won’t reach the United States until 2023, meaning it will likely arrive as a 2024 model. That’s a year later than originally promised.

VW has been hinting at a modern Bus for years. In fact, the automaker rolled out the first concept for one as far back as 2001. Now production is finally happening. The production will be handled at a Volkswagen Group plant in Hanover, Germany, which is being upgraded to handle electric vehicles. The plant is where VW currently builds its T-series van, the true successor to the Microbus.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz AD self-driving car prototype

Volkswagen ID.Buzz AD self-driving car prototype

The T-series earlier in June spawned the new T7 generation in passenger-oriented Multivan guise. The T7 van, which is based on VW Group’s MQB platform, will be sold alongside the ID Buzz. The ID Buzz will ride on VW Group’s MEB battery-electric platform.

Look for a base model with around 201 hp and rear-wheel drive. Above this should sit a 302-hp model with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. The biggest battery option should offer close to 300 miles of range.

Like the ID Buzz concept, the production version will have its batteries in the floor, allowing short overhangs front and rear, and a compact van footprint. Both passenger and commercial versions are planned, the latter previewed by 2018’s ID Buzz Cargo concept. The U.S. is only expected to receive the passenger version.

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