World premiere of the ID. Buzz: VW presents the "Bulli for a new era

World premiere of the ID. Buzz: VW presents the "Bulli for a new era

The long-awaited VW ID. buzz has celebrated its premiere. Volkswagen praises the "first purely electric bus and van series in Europe" in the highest terms. With the premiere, further data on the electric minibus is now known - against which VW Group CEO Herbert Diess must also be measured after his announcements.

In the run-up to the event, Diess had set the bar high when he spoke to the assembled VW team in mid-February of "certainly one of the most exciting vehicle launches in the world this year". "Because even when I started at Volkswagen in 2015, I wanted to finally bring the original Bulli back to the road after many hapless studies that Volkswagen had presented," Diess said at the works meeting. "I fought for this project personally, and my colleagues also put a lot of effort into it. It's a car that embodies everything the Volkswagen brand stands for: passion, emotion, reliability, a lifestyle of freedom and independence."

In view of these pithy statements, it is all the more astonishing that Diess does not even have a word to say in the press release for the premiere of the ID. Buzz. The group boss did not appear at the event in Hamburg either, but VW brand boss Ralf Brandst├Ątter and VW commercial vehicles boss Carsten Intra did. It was an event for the brand, not the group.

So let's first look at the facts: The European versions of the 4.71-meter-long e-van as a five-seater and cargo version will start at market launch with a 77 kWh battery (gross energy content: 82 kWh). The electric motor on the rear axle - as in the other MEB models a PSM - produces the familiar 150 kW, which accelerate the ID. Buzz to a top speed of up to 145 km/h. Only: VW does not yet mention the range according to WLTP, it will follow at a later date.

AC charging power is the usual 11 kW, while for DC charging VW is quoting "up to 170 kW" for the first time. This is likely to be a short-term peak, however, as the duration for charging from five to 80 percent is "around 30 minutes" for the ID. Buzz. VW had already quoted 29 minutes for the ID.5, which officially only gets 135 kW of charging power - and prototypes of the ID.5 had already been photographed at charging points with 169 kW on display.

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Nevertheless, in addition to the maximum 100 kW charging power of the Stellantis vans and 45 minutes of charging time (albeit starting from ten percent instead of five percent), the ID. Buzz brings a noticeable improvement on paper. However, this is hardly surprising, after all, the ID. Buzz is based on a pure E-platform and brings with it its latest state of development. However, the Stellantis models are also available with internal combustion engines and these have been on the market for several years.

But if you believe VW, the ID. Buzz isn't about the last kilowatt of charging power or a few more kilometers of WLTP range anyway. "The ID. Buzz brings a lot of sympathy and closeness to people back to the road," says Jozef Kaba┼ł, head of Volkswagen design. He says it's all about the unique proportions. "With the T1, I'm basically sitting on the front axle - no front overhang. For all its safety relevance and technology, the ID. Buzz also has super short overhangs."

With a length of 4.712 meters, the ID Buzz has a wheelbase of 2.988 meters and indeed short overhangs. However, the MEB van does not quite come close to the original, also in the lines. Instead of a continuous front - as in the study - a clear step between the front hood and windshield is visible in the production model, especially from the side. But the break in the design is easily explained: In the study VW could do without details such as windshield wipers, but not in the production model - and they have to be installed somewhere and as aerodynamically as possible.