Volkswagen has provided the clearest look yet at its upcoming battery-electric ID. Buzz with the unveiling of a lightly camouflaged, pre-production version of the upcoming multi-seat MPV on the sidelines of a presentation dedicated to the new ID.5 at its Wolfsburg headquarters in Germany.
Planned for North American sale in 2023, the ID. Buzz is set to become Volkswagen’s fourth dedicated BEV, following the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5.
It will also be the first ID. model to be offered both as a passenger vehicle and a commercial vehicle, with production planned to take place at the German automaker’s commercial-vehicle plant in Hannover, Germany, from early next year.
Based on Volkswagen’s MEB electric-vehicle platform, the new MPV will be offered in standard- and long-wheelbase body styles – the latter of which is expected to be offered in the U.S. in combination with a number of different layouts, including variants boasting seven and eight seats.
The production ID. Buzz adopts a squarer shape than the earlier concept in a move Volkswagen officials tell WardsAuto is aimed at providing it with maximum interior space.
The overall silhouette mirrors that of VW’s latest internal-combustion-engine Microbus, with which the new ID. model is claimed to share elements of its body shell, chassis and interior architecture.
Many of the earlier concept’s styling cues have been toned down, giving the new ID. model a cleaner and less heavily contrived look than originally anticipated.
Key exterior design details exposed in the latest photographs issued by Volkswagen include angular headlamps that wrap into the front fenders. They are connected by a light band that runs through a large VW badge featured prominently on the angled hood. Lower down, there is a full-width grille. It features a design similar to that adopted by the concept and other ID. models, including the ID.4 and ID.5 GTX.
As with the Microbus, the production version of the ID. Buzz adopts two conventional front-hinged doors at the front as well as two parallel sliding doors at the rear.
Technical details of the new ID. model are yet to be announced, though it is expected to share drivetrain and battery configurations with other ID.-badged models.
Significantly, the ID. Buzz is also set to play a crucial role in the launch of Volkswagen’s autonomous driving technology, which it is developing in partnership with Argo AI.
From launch in 2022, it is planned to be equipped with Level 3 semi-autonomous functionality, but Volkswagen says it will be able to introduce Level 4 capability shortly afterward.
Volkswagen Group sister company MOIA has confirmed it will be the first company to make use of the self-driving functions planned to be made available on the ID. Buzz.