Unveiled earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Concept Bus – or simply Microbus – has been receiving tons of support from people who had great experience with the vehicle, which the company sold in North America between 1950 and 1980. People want it back, hence, VW has decided to bring the concept bus to reality – by 2022.
Besides appealing to those who get nostalgic for the original, rear-engine, gasoline powered Microbus; the new VW vehicle will provide another option to customers interested in a lot of passenger space. And the new VW Microbus will be powered entirely by electricity. Of course, Volkswagen hopes to regain consumers’ confidence with the introduction of the new bus after its “diesel emission scandal”.
However, not every excited customer would get their bus at dealership in 2022. Volkswagen says it will mainly target “markets in North America, Europe and China” with its new Microbus. In the United States, the Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle, especially during the 1960s, where surfer dudes and hippies were synonymous with the VW bus.
The new VW Microbus has a battery charge capacity of 111-kWh, giving a range of around 270 miles (434 kimometres). The batteries are built into the floor to maximise interior space. The all-wheel-drive concept version is powered by 150-kW two electric motors, with one in the nose section and the other by the rear axle – giving a total whopping output of 369-bhp.
Essentially, the bus can hit 62-mph (100-kph) in less than 5-second with top speed limited to 99-mph (160-kph). Volkswagen says the interior has been designed for maximum usability and flexibility – the third row of seats can be converted into a bed. The Microbus will be capable of autonomous driving and will come fitted with VW’s ID Pilot autonomous driving system.
Another cool feature (in case you couldn’t spot it in the photos) that comes with the retro-styled VW Concept Bus is the absence of “rear-view mirrors”. In place of the traditional location of the rear-view mirror is the “external cameras”.However, it’s unclear if the German carmaker will ever bring this technology or feature to the production version.