The all-wheel-drive van of the future seats eight and can do 270 miles between charges.

We had a hunch Volkswagen’s second I.D. concept would have something to do with the Microbus judging by the teasers, and now we have confirmation. The I.D. Buzz is basically a follow-up to the Budd-e concept unveiled a year ago at CES and this one too takes the shape of a high-tech Microbus of the future with an all-electric powertrain and autonomous driving capabilities.

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz concept
VW BUDD-e concept

As our handy photo comparison tool illustrates, the two concepts are somewhat similar, but the I.D. Buzz does host some styling cues seen for the first time in the original I.D. concept. These include the illuminated VW logo, the new shape of the LED headlights, slender taillights, along with the funky design for the 22-inch alloy wheels painted in Galvano Gray Metallic. As a nod to the T1, there are three stylized air vents in the rear roof pillars to forge a connection between the past and the future. For the same reason, the concept wears a two-tone paint, a Silver Metallic hue above the seam combined with a Cyber Yellow Pearl Effect finish below it.

Stepping inside the cabin, it can host up to eight people and everyone on board can be a passenger after activating the I.D. Pilot autonomous mode. When the concept is in charge of the the driving, the spokeless steering wheel retracts and merges into the instrument panel to free up more space. To create a cozy atmosphere, VW has envisioned the concept with a wooden floor and has also implemented LED ambient lighting.

By shortening the front and rear overhangs as much as possible, VW was able to maximize wheelbase and as such create a roomy cabin. From its augmented reality head-up display and side cameras to the touch-sensitive steering wheel and removable tablet placed between the seats, the I.D. Buzz concept is a technological tour de force. The peeps from Wolfsburg estimate the aforementioned I.D. Pilot fully autonomous driving system could be ready for a series production car by the middle of the next decade.

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz concept
VW BUDD-e concept

Motivation is provided by a pair of electric motors developing a combined output of 369 horsepower (275 kilowatts). With one electric motor at the front and the other installed at the back, the I.D. Buzz has an all-wheel-drive layout. Acceleration is very impressive as well, with the 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) taking approximately five seconds, while top speed is electronically capped at 99 mph (160 kph).

The large 111-kWh battery pack has enough juice for 600 kilometers in the very optimistic New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), with VW estimating it would do 270 miles in the U.S. driving cycle. If you’re in a hurry, charging the batteries to an 80-percent level takes half an hour when using a fast charger.

VW points out the concept is based on the group’s new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), in this case the XL version. The flexible architecture allows the engineers to easily create a rear-wheel-drive variant with 268 hp (200 kW) and a smaller 83-kWh battery, should the company want to sell a lesser version.

As a final note, VW’s “TOGETHER - Strategy 2025” includes plans for more than 30 EVs by 2025, and we know a production version of the I.D. concept is going to be one of them as an all-electric compact hatchback. In addition, the Budd-e concept has already been confirmed for production, so it effectively means the I.D. Buzz will have a road-going equivalent expected to arrive by the end of the decade.

Source: Volkswagen

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