Volkswagen has unveiled the much-anticipated ID. Buzz with long wheelbase, which marks the return of the VW Microbus to North America in 2024 after two decades of absence.
Revealed in the surfer hotspot of Huntington Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway near Los Angeles as part of the largest VW Bus festival in the United States, the ID. Buzz LWB is described by Volkswagen as one of the most spacious electric vehicles.
The all-electric minivan offers room for up to seven people and a large luggage compartment thanks to a 9.8-inch (250-millimeter) longer wheelbase compared to the standard model. The ID. Buzz LWB has a generous wheelbase of 127.5 in (3,239 mm) and a total length of 195.3 in (4,962 mm).
The almost 10 inches of additional wheelbase are distributed between the sliding doors, which have been widened by 7.5 in (192 mm), and the 2.3-in (580-mm) longer areas between the C-pillars and the rear wheels.
From a styling perspective, the ID. Buzz LWB looks pretty much the same as the standard wheelbase model, although the longer wheelbase improves the proportions – at least to this pair of eyes. The width and height remain unchanged at 78.1 in (1,985 mm) – without exterior mirrors – and 75.8 in (1,927 mm), respectively.
The drag coefficient is 0.29, and Volkswagen says this is a “very good” value for a minivan. A new exterior feature – but only in North America – is the illuminated Volkswagen logo on the front.
The effect of the extended wheelbase is more spectacular on the interior, though. That’s because it creates extra space for a third row of seats, a roomier luggage compartment, and a new, larger 85-kilowatt-hour battery (net capacity) that enables more range.
Starting with the seats, the ID. Buzz LWB offers five-, six-, and seven-seat configurations. The front seats come with adjustable armrests as standard on the inner side (outside armrests are optional). The top versions of the seats are 12-way power adjustable and also have a massage and memory function. In North America, the front row will also be equipped with new seat air conditioning.
The second row of seats comes as a three-passenger bench seat as standard, with 40/60 split folding backrests. The backrest angle can be adjusted by 16 degrees and the bench seat can slide forward and backward by 7.9 inches (200 mm), either completely or in sections. The outer seats are optionally available as heated seats. Optionally, two individual seats including armrests can be selected for the second row.
The third row of seats consists of two individual seats that can be completely removed when needed. The third row is standard in the US but optional in Europe and Canada.
As for trunk space, the ID. Buzz LWB is one of the few electric vehicles that can easily accommodate paragliding equipment, bikes, and boards when the second and third rows of seats are folded down – resulting in a maximum load capacity of up to 87.2 cubic feet (2,469 liters).
In five-seater configuration, the trunk has a capacity of 47.3 cu ft (1,340 L) when loaded up to the upper edge of the backrests – 7.7 cu ft (219 L) more than in the standard wheelbase model. With seven people on board, the ID. Buzz has a trunk volume of 10.8 cu ft (306 L) behind the third-row seats.
The ID. Buzz LWB will introduce new features inside such as a head-up display and an enhanced infotainment system powered by the latest ID. software, with new graphic interface and revamped menu. A new 12.9-inch display promises simpler, more intuitive and more customizable operation; it works together with a 5.3-inch digital instrument panel controlled from the multifunction steering wheel.
In addition, the main display’s touch sliders for functions such as temperature and volume settings will from now on be illuminated. Speaking of which, the cabin features 10-color ambient lighting as standard or 30-color as an option for the long ID. Buzz.
Also new is the panoramic sunroof with smart glass and a transparent area of 16.1 square feet (1.5 square meters). It’s Volkswagen‘s largest glass roof so far – it covers the first and second rows of seats completely – and it features electronically controlled tinting.
Additionally, the ID. Buzz LWB introduces sliding door windows that slide inwards electrically when opened. Depending on the equipment, the sliding doors and the tailgate also open and close electrically.
Moving on to the powertrain, the VW ID. Buzz LWB will be available with two battery sizes: an 82-kWh (77 kWh usable) pack and a new 91-kWh (85 kWh usable) battery – standard in the US, optional in Europe. The automaker didn’t reveal range estimates but said the new APP550 rear-axle drive unit will also be offered in the ID. Buzz.
Delivering 210 kilowatts (282 horsepower) and 413 pound-feet (560 Newton-meters) of torque to the rear wheels, the new drive unit increases the top speed to 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour) and reduces the 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) time to 7.9 seconds. If that’s not quick enough, the GTX all-wheel-drive version will debut later in 2024 with 250 kW (335 hp) and a 0-62 mph time of 6.4 seconds.
The VW ID. Buzz LWB will also bring faster DC fast charging capacity of up to 200 kW, allowing the large battery to charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 25 minutes. A new thermal management system enables battery preconditioning while a new heat pump will increase efficiency in winter.
Volkswagen will start US deliveries of the ID. Buzz LWB in 2024, and will ship it from its plant in Hanover, Germany. US pricing and specifications, including range estimates, will be announced closer to launch.