Since every car brand seems so be heading to an autonomous future, automakers like Volkswagen AG won’t want to be left out of the game. Just this week, Volkswagen’s much anticipated electric microbus concept was finally unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
Imagine an all-wheel drive mini bus that seats eight passengers and comes with a 270-mile driving cycle. These are what Volkswagen designers had in mind when they penned the futuristic ID Buzz Concept. But to some, this idea is nothing new, especially if you could recall last year’s Volkswagen’s Budd-e concept.
First off, the futuristic ID Buzz has the original concept’s autonomous driving capabilities and all-electric powertrain. Since the two basically share more than a few similarities, the latest concept EV also bears the same 22-inch Galvano Gray Metallic alloy wheels, slim tail lamps, LED headlights as well as the all-glowing Volkswagen logo.
Surprisingly, the cabin is much roomier than what you would expect. VW ID Buzz is designed with shorter overhangs both for the front and back, therefore, maximizing the wheelbase to create a more spacious interior. Due to this, the ID Buzz has enough room for up to eight people.
Once the “Pilot mode” is activated, anyone on board (including the driver) could be a passenger. To enhance this experience, the steering wheel retracts on its own to provide more space at the driver’s side.
What’s even more exciting is that Volkswagen created a soft ambience for the cabin by including wooden floor panels and LED ambient lighting technology. It is also equipped with the most hi-tech head-up display, portable tablet and side cameras for the touch-sensitive steering wheel.
Power comes from a pair of electric motors wherein one is installed at the back and the other one is in front. This allows Volkswagen’s 369 hp all-wheel drive EV to run from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds as well as to reach a top speed of up to 99mph.
In addition, the ID Buzz is packed with a large 111-kWh battery pack that can last up to 600 kilometres based on the NEDC. Volkswagen, on the other hand, has estimated it to extend up to 270 miles. By using the fast charger, one can recharge the battery by up to 80% in as short as thirty minutes.
From the exterior, the minivan features a two-tone paint in “Cyber Yellow Pearl Effect” and “Metallic Silver”. Just by these, Volkswagen’s newest technological concept could be considered a work of art.
As the German automaker continues to pursue bigger plans particularly for the upcoming “Together – Strategy 2025”, perhaps we will be seeing more of these concepts come true in real life. With this new ID concept “buzzing on its way”, it does look like there’s no stopping Volkswagen as its gets ready for an electrified, autonomous future.