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Volkswagen Microbus Debut Due in March

I.D. Buzz Concept Volkswagen Microbus

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever, however, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has announced over social media that the 2024 ID.Buzz Microbus will be revealed on March 9th. After a few weeks of the manufacturer teasing new details of the all-electric van, Diess shared some concept sketches of the model on Thursday before confirming the exact date when “the legend returns.” 

The aptly named ID.Buzz received loads of media attention when VW indicated it wanted to build an all-electric van inspired by the Type 2 way back in 2017 and whipped up one hell of a concept as proof. Americans seemed particularly interested because the automaker had stopped selling the Transporter/Eurovan after the T5 and the older models were staples of the hippie movement that now looks to have been a mistake. But the tunes were great and people cannot help but be drawn toward anything offering a sense of nostalgia, so everyone became outraged (author included) when it was rumored that the model might not make it into the United States — despite having debuted in Detroit back when the North American International Auto Show still took place in a physical environment.

VW Microbus I.D. Buzz Concept

Delays seemed to be plaguing everything VW was producing that used batteries for a while. But the company announced it had partnered with the Qatar Investment Authority in 2019 to field a handful of autonomous variants. It also confirmed that the model would indeed be coming to America, with the successive year yielding news that it would be produced in both Hanover, Germany, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Based on the repeat delays of Volkswagen’s ID.4 and current-generation Golf, we’re lacking total confidence that Volkswagen will meet its desired production dates. However, the Buzz is supposed to launch in Europe later this year after the Hanover facility has been retooled, with deliveries allegedly commencing within the U.S. sometime in 2023. American citizens are also limited to the passenger-friendly long-wheelbase model, whereas Europeans also have the option of selecting the short wheelbase and commercial variants.

I.D. Buzz Concept Volkswagen Microbus

Built on VW’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform, the van is supposed to share a lot of hardware with the ID.4. While your author has yet to drive one, I’m constantly hearing people gripe about the automaker’s finicky touchscreen-focused interface that’s becoming all too common. Driving impressions are a bit more positive, however, and TTAC has a first-drive ready for your reading pleasure. But we don’t know if the neutral nature of the ID.4 will be transferred to the Microbus, only that the two should have a lot in common mechanically.

Range has been rumored to exceed what’s on 1st Edition ID.4s, due to the van offering room for a larger battery. We’ve heard roughly 300 miles per charge and two motor configurations offering either all-wheel drive (with dual motors) or rear-wheel drive (using a single hub).

The U.S. spec version should come with three rows of adjustable seating and lean heavily into retro-inspired exterior styling with the interior running with the future-minimalist theme. Though the test mules we’ve come across ultimately look more like the current VW Transporter than vintage Microbuses — which could be the work of some exceptionally clever camouflage. Whatever the case, we just hope Volkswagen eases off on the cheap-feeling plastic and nixes touch controls for some traditional buttons.

Pricing is estimated to start around the low $40,000 range to provide some financial distance from the ID.4. But that’s just a guess, as VW has yet to confirm much of anything other than the MEB platform, a few retro design cues, and the debut date.

[Images: Volkswagen Group]

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