Longer Volkswagen ID.Buzz Confirmed For USA

Electric Vehicles / 10 Comments

America will get a longer version with a larger third row and more trunk space.

The 2024 ID.Buzz was never built for the American market, but the hype this people carrier created convinced VW that it needed to make a bus specifically for the USA.

Following the 2022 New York Motor Show, we can now confirm that a longer version is coming to the USA. This is purely because we tend to use the third row, and VW needs to extend the length of the ID.Buzz, so the third row can fit the average full-size American adult.

Volkswagen would not say how much extra length they worked into the platform, but we know that it needs to be enough inches to accommodate said third row and generous cargo capacity.

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We were given a tour of the ID.Buzz by Jeffrey Lear, VW's ID.Buzz project manager. He's suspiciously young for someone in charge of such an iconic car, but he does know what he's talking about. It's pretty obvious why he climbed the ranks so quickly.

The ID.Buzz shares its platform with the ID.4 crossover. The MEB platform is exceptionally adaptable, however. That doesn't necessarily mean Volkswagen has to increase the wheelbase to make a larger ID.Buzz work.

The secret is the EV skateboard, which allows for loads of interior room. It doesn't have any running gear in the front, and the electric motor is located at the rear. The electric motor develops a healthy 201 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque and is driven by an 82-kWh battery.

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The flat floor granted Volkswagen to create its most practical microbus to date, but within a smaller body than ever before. "The American version will be no harder to park than the Atlas and will have a similar footprint," said Lear. "All the additional length will come from the wheelbase." The overhangs will remain the same.

There's a lot to love about the bus, starting with the design. Is it just us, or does it look like an ecstatic cartoon character? We dig the dual paint job, with Candy White being the most likely color people will opt for on top. The side slats on the D-pillar are a throwback to the original Type 2. It seems like an entirely new design, but there are other hints as well. The Candy White creates a subtle V-shape at the front, complemented by a large VW badge.

The rear is completely new, influenced heavily by the VW Bulli concept from 2011.

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Lear also took some time to show us some of the nifty interior features and easter eggs. There's a hidden smiley face behind the internal front door handles and a map of the world hidden in the removable storage box between the front seats.

As you can imagine, loads of hidden storage compartments are scattered around the cabin. The digital instrument cluster is clear and neatly placed, though it does not have the same drive selector as the ID.4, nor the screen angled toward the driver. According to Lear, this improves visibility. Instead, the ID.Buzz's drive selector is situated on a stalk on the steering column.

Our only concern is the infotainment system, which falls into the same trap as the system in the GTI. It's all located on a touchscreen interface, with no separate buttons for the HVAC system. It comes exceedingly close to ruining the entire daily driving experience in the GTI.

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On the practical side, it will likely beat every SUV out there. The flat floor allows for interesting packing space solutions. You can, for example, store stuff out of sight underneath the seats. Removing the seats also gives you a completely flat floor, but multiple configurations will be available.

You need to see this car in person to appreciate what VW has done with the available space, proving just how genius the EV skateboard is. The available space was easily on par with the Jeep Grand Wagoneer we saw earlier on the day, yet the ID.Buzz's footprint is so much smaller.

Volkswagen is still in the process of designing the American version of the ID.Buzz, but expect it to look the same as this, just a bit longer. The big question is whether the hype will actually translate into sales, requiring people getting out of their SUVs and crossovers into old-school (modernized) people carriers.

The production ID.Buzz will arrive at the end of next year and hit the road in 2024.

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