Test Driving the Electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz Microbus

Despite (and in part, because of ) the Buzz’s future-forward powertrain, its designers kept admirably close to the layout of its classic forebears. Driver and front passenger sit alarmingly close to a giant, panoramic windscreen, the result of drawing the wheels out to each of the vehicle’s four corners, with very little overhang. Paired with that torque, you get the feeling you’re sitting in the first car of the airport monorail. The exterior features two-tone paint options, oversize VW badging and a V-shaped front hood line. It’s charmingly retro, though some no doubt will bemoan the lack of circular headlamps.

Front dashboard of yellow and white Volkswagen ID. Buzz
Courtesy Image

Beyond the longer, three-row model destined for the U.S., VW plans a camper van called ID. California. The Buzz, of course, was always destined for van life. Sure, there’s a strong market for it. But the Buzz’s designer had personal reasons to make the vehicle extra camping-friendly: Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s chief designer, drove and camped in a classic bus during high school. Fast-forward to Gen Z: Kids will live out some wild stories in these things, we can hope. Instead of involving internal combustion breakdowns or Grateful Dead lot scenes, they might start with, “D’ya remember that time we couldn’t find a charging station?”

[From $40,000 (estimated); vw.com]

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