3d illustration of a psychedelic vintage VW hippie van.At the annual Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, one of the iconic vehicles of the last six decades got a new life. Volkswagen AG’s North America division announced that the company has green-lighted an all-electric version of the VW Microbus that is currently scheduled to be in dealer showrooms in 2022.
The company has dubbed the vehicle the I.D. Buzz, following on its previously announced all-electric I.D. compact four-door sedan.
The hand-built concept car, shown below next to the original VW bus, is reported to be targeting a range of around 270 miles on a single charge and will include level 3 autonomous driving capability.
VW CEO Herbert Diess commented:
The Microbus, which is what the Bulli is called in America, has always been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing the Bulli as an electric vehicle.
VW’s North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken added:
This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership. The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.
VW’s diesel cheating scandal has hurt the company badly in the U.S. market, and an all-electric vehicle not due for another five years may be too little, too late to help much.
In addition to its targeted range, the new I.D. Buzz is expected to generate 369 horsepower and zip from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds. The first VW microbus produced a whopping 25 horsepower, never reached 60 mph unless on a steep downhill grade, and handled like an oversized bread-box on wheels.
But if you ever drove one, you probably wish you had never dumped it and would give anything to have it back again. In another five years you could have the next best thing.