VW ID Buzz: EXCLUSIVE walkaround and full reveal of VW’s brand-new EV Microbus

VW ID Buzz: EXCLUSIVE walkaround and full reveal of VW’s brand-new EV Microbus


After twenty years of concept cars, at long last, we are here. Volkswagen has reinvented the Microbus for the EV age – and called it the ID Buzz. Really.The silly name is just one of the touches that aims to give this car what EVs sorely lack. Character. Personality. Soul. But this sliding door-equipped family box-on-wheels is also designed to bring something new to the EV scene: a truly useful MPV instead of another fake off-roading crossover. This is just the first Buzz: soon there’ll be versions with more seats, more range, a delivery workhorse and even a proper campervan. But is this reimagined classic a schmaltzy rehash of past glories, or actually Volkswagen’s most promising electric car yet? Magazine’s Ollie Kew has been for a thorough look around to find out… Chapters:0:00-0:24 Intro0:25-0:55 Name 0:56-2:01 Variants2:02-3:23 Styling3:24-4:45 Drive System4:46-7:28 Interior 7:29-10:06 Tech10:07-10:44 Charging10:45-11:38 OutroWant to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

wow normally we don’t really do vans on top gear.com but we are going to make an exception for this don’t think of it as a van think of this as an all-new type of electric car let’s have a good look around the volkswagen id buzz and yes before we go any further the name this is officially called the id buzz i’ve only just worked out actually a pun because in germany one of these is known as a bus so an electric version becomes the buzz i thought that for the production version and this is the finished one that they’d call it something boring like the idv but no they’ve stuck with the concept car name so that means when people ask you what are you driving these days you’re actually going to have to look them in the eye and say oh well i drive a buzz the next thing they’re going to ask you is which buzz have you gone for because there’s going to be loads of these things there’s also going to be the panel van version the id buzz cargo and i can’t think of a more stylish or eco-friendly way to have those over-packaged amazon deliveries brought to your door it’s based on the same platform as volkswagen’s id3 the id4 cooper is born the audi e-trons and there’s even some skoda’s on the same platform that’s the great thing about electric car platforms isn’t it just a big heap of batteries and then you can stretch it into any shape that you want so next after this standard car there’ll be a long wheelbase buzz that will have more seats bigger boots and a bigger battery but it’s going to take until 2025 for the buzz that you and i are most excited for and that is the california the campervan version with the sink and the kitchen and the bed why is that taking so long well volkswagen have just told me that it’s quite simply because the current diesel-powered california is selling so well that they’re in no hurry to kill it off right come with me let’s have a really detailed poke around this id burst starting at the front of course not with these standard fit led lights but with this enormous volkswagen badge about the size of a dinner plate they’ve not done this through styling insecurity that is a deliberate homage to the classic type 1 micro bus from the 1960s the hippie bus quick bit of history for you volkswagen’s actually been promising to do a retro cool van like this for about 20 years there was the microbus concept then the bully concept then the bud e concept and finally in 2017 an id buzz concept which thankfully they’ve barely changed this production car has a grill down the front with some radar cruise gubbins but it still looks really clean okay more styling stuff you can have 18 19 20 or these 21 inch wheels there are four options of two-tone paint color or you can have it all in one color if you’re boring uh it stands 1.9 meters tall the buzz volkswagen says that is so it fits in most european parking garages and multi-story car parks but just make sure you’re taking your canoes or your mountain bikes off the roof first this thing starts about 50 000 pounds but it could very quickly get more expensive now here’s a bit of t1 inspiration you might not have expected because the buzz is actually rear engines of course that engine isn’t an air-cooled clattering beetle power plant it’s all electric but that electric motor is mounted down here it’s tucked out of the way and the buzz is rear-wheel drive obviously that is not for honing purposes it’s so that you get a big cabin and it means the wheels at the front can pivot and turn that much tighter and you get a really handy turning circle so this will spin round in just over 11 meters that’s about the same space as a golf need so the buzz should be very very agile at getting out of the festival car park the drive system is taken from the volkswagen ids you already know so in this buzz pro there’s a 77 kilowatt-hour battery it’s got 200 horsepower 229 pounds feet of torque the car weighs over two tons but should still do not to 60 in about eight seconds real world range should be around 250 miles in 2023 there’ll be a smaller battery buzz pure kicking off the family at around 50 000 pounds the long wheelbase buzz will get the even bigger battery and in future they might even do a fast four wheel drive gtx version but that’s all electric car stuff you’ve heard before so let’s go and have a look at a new type of electric car interior now the idea in here is you get a similar amount of space as you would in a conventional volkswagen t6 van but in a shorter overall car because of course up front there’s no need to package an engine and a cooling system so that brings advantages for the crash structure and the longer wheelbase i must say it doesn’t feel like i’ve exactly let myself into wembley stadium after hours here but oh i mean look tons of leg room and headroom the main thing you notice is we make life so difficult for ourselves by being obsessed with buying suvs i mean i’ve got so much more space back here than i would in a tiguan or a tuareg because there’s a low floor because this car doesn’t need to pretend it goes off-road getting in was super easy because the door opening is enormous and even the windows are huge it’s just a happier place to travel and now i know that you’re obsessed with practicality join me in the boot it’s enormous 1100 liters back here even with all five seats up and i must say i do like this clever little buzz logo etched into the trim however i have just spotted some technology that’s worrying me in the front let’s go and have a look okay welcome aboard get into your captain’s chair let me put your armrest down for you that is one heck of a commanding driving position a half expected oxygen mask to drop from the ceiling when i got in and that windscreen does look an awfully long way away but you have to remember that beyond that there’s not really any jutting bonnet so parking should be a doddle now this interior design i think means someone at volkswagen is a big bmw i3 fan the i3 has just gone out of production and probably a bit too ahead of its time but the spirit of that lodge interior lives on in the buzz look at all this open pore unpolished wood and the flat scalloped surfaces there’s no oppressive cliff face of plastic as a dashboard it feels welcoming now car designers will often wang on boringly about making a car feel like a lounge inside giving you that idea that you’re already home even before you set off normally it is absolute rubbish i think volkswagen might have pulled it off in here and it is actually quite practical as well i mean you’ve got storage down here in the doors and another pocket down here the cup holders are hidden away there’s a massive glove box another shelf and then this whole center console with the cup holders can actually completely lift out for some reason and then hopefully clicks back into place there’s also wireless charging somewhere in here for your phone and seven usb sockets so even the most anti-social family can keep all of their devices juiced up there’s only one thing that i think is going to disturb the relaxing ambiance in this vanilla interior and it’s there okay so if you haven’t heard about all this let me bring you up to speed a couple of years ago volkswagen sat down and it said to itself our interiors they make too much ergonomic sense and there’s too many of these tactile easy to use well-made buttons everywhere let’s put them all in the bin and then they started over with haptic feedback controls touch sensitive and one of the laggiest touch screens ever put into a car and it’s really not gone well for them i mean they managed to make the golf unrecommendable that’s how badly volkswagen screwed up its new technological interfaces and of course it’s all reappeared in the buzz now i am promised by all the volkswagen engineers who are just over there probably getting quite crossed i’m being rude about their car but i’m not sorry i promise that this has been re-shipped software updated over the air and it’s got loads better but i’m not convinced i mean the temperature controls and the volume slider still doesn’t light up at night and as you can see from the sat nav this particular buzz thinks it is in the middle of the sea in hamburg dockyard so i think there’s still some room for improvement and the same goes for these haptic buttons on the steering wheel and the confusing mirror controls and the annoying light switch i want to believe that they’ve sorted this out for the buzz and i’m sure it will continue to improve as the car gets older but it needs to be right first time and it would be such a shame if such a useful and relaxing family car has been made annoying by the tech there’s also tech that’s downright scary this car has got volkswagen’s latest car to car communications so it can download data from other volkswagens nearby in the cloud and be warned about traffic or even if there’s road markings missing and that the clever cruise control should prepare itself for missing white lines i think my favorite bit of tech is the parking assistant because it can actually learn and remember tricky maneuvers all you have to do is do it manually first to prove it can be done and if the car is paying attention it will record that and then if you’ve got a tight driveway or a tricky campsite to get out of the car can take over automatically in future as long as you trust those sensors let me just rattle through charging for you which lives in here 170 kilowatts is the fastest the buzz can charge at so that means on the fastest charger it will take you can go from five to eighty percent in half an hour the party piece is bi-directional charging and what that means is that this sounds pretty future-proof to me if you’ve got home with a built-in storage battery then you charge the buzz during the day using your solar panels on the roof or your garden wind farm and then during the night you can discharge the buzz and run your playstation off its battery now that sounds very useful for when this becomes a camper van so there you go that’s the buzz i’ll tell you what i didn’t see coming with the electric car revolution and that is cars arriving and having the game to themselves i mean think of something like the porsche tycoon sports erismo that is the only fast electric estate car that money can buy right now the likes of bmw or audi or tesla don’t seem interested in taking it on just yet now there are other electric vans but they’re just delivery work courses there’s no true electric mpvs and there’s nothing that’s got this much personality and style and let’s be honest when it comes to character evs need all the help they can get you

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