This week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess set a date for the launch of what could be VW’s most anticipated new battery-electric vehicles. The retro-styled ID Buzz concept car blew up so many socks when we first saw it in 2017, and we’ll get our first glimpse of the production version on March 9, according to Diess’s Twitter feed.
The legend returns on 03/09/22! pic.twitter.com/Q4hFyCN5mr
-Herbert Diess (@Herbert_Diess) January 6, 2022
Intentionally or not, Volkswagen’s ID Buzz concept could be the most successful aspect of the company’s post-Dieselgate charm offensive. VW had to jump into electrification, following its proven strategy of building many different styles of vehicles from the same family of parts and designs.
Most of these vehicles have been fairly conventional, like the ID.3 hatchbacks starting to thicken on the ground in Europe or the ID.4 crossover designed with the USA in mind. Then there are the less conventional concepts – try as they might, the engineers couldn’t make a business case for the ID Buggy.
But you can argue for an electric van. This should be good news for VW Type 2 fans, some of whom may have been teased by previous concepts like the Microbus in 2001, Bullies in 2011and BUDD-e in 2016, none of which made it past the auto show circuit.
But the ID Buzz is definitely headed for production this year at VW’s commercial vehicle plant in Hanover, Germany. And if you venture to Munich or Hamburg, you might see some autonomous Buzzes roaming the streets, gathering test data for Argo AI and Moia ahead of a commercial launch in the latter city in 2025.
The American models will arrive in 2023. Since the line is considered the queen of our market, we only get the passenger version with the longer wheelbase. European Buzz enthusiasts will have more variety, including a short wheelbase version (and therefore a smaller battery capacity), as well as a commercial Buzz with panels instead of windows on the sides.