Volkswagen may have launched its ID.5 electric compact SUV/coupé overnight in Germany, but it was the all-electric Kombi, better known as the ID.Buzz, that apparently stole the show.
Resplendent in a rainbow-coloured zebra-like camouflage, the ID.Buzz flashed momentarily on the screen as Volkswagen introduced the latest addition to the all-electric ID family.
The ID. Buzz – which will be the first VW vehicle to showcase the autonomous driving solution it is developing in a partnership with Argo.AI – is expected to be released in 2022 with an 82kWh battery pack.
US deliveries may start in 2023, according to various reports, with production to be commenced at both the company’s Hannover factory in Germany and the Chattanooga factory in the US, according to Auto Evolution.
Whether or not it will make an appearance on the Australian market is very much up in the air; VW’s Australian arm has already indicated delays for the ID.4 due to overseas priorities.
Interestingly, but perhaps not unsurprisingly, the design of the ID.Buzz has changed considerably since it was first teased as a concept some years ago.
Compared to the very rounded and friendly lines shown in the image below, the teaser above is more angular, has lost the cute LED headlights and, it would seem, the backbit logo.
The grille is also somewhat less refined, with its subtle honeycomb pattern below now enlargened into a criss-cross grille design.
The ID. Buzz was also recently seen in Hamburg, although in a very different format.
At the ITS World Congress in mid-October, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and subsidiary Moia put the Buzz on display as part of its plan for a mobility service with self-driving VW buses.
It was an ID-Buzz AD (the “AD” stands for “Autonomous Driving”), which rolled into the hall in black and white camouflage and with high roof structures, in which the “New Auto Night” of the Volkswagen Group took place.
This is one of the first five self-driving prototypes based on the future fully electric VW ID.Buzz from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles using the autonomous Argo.AI system mentioned above, which Moia plans to deploy as an autonomous shuttle in Hamburg from 2025 in its autonomous ride pooling service.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.