avatar Andrew Burgess April 8, 2022

Will the new VW ID. Buzz be available an electric campervan?

We went to an exclusive preview of the ID. Buzz at Volkswagen’s UK HQ to find out more.

The world premiere of the retro-styled, all-electric VW ID. Buzz created a lot of excitement among VW fans, but the big question is, will it be available as an electric campervan? Here’s the low down…

The past meets the future

In the ‘flesh’, the VW ID. Buzz looks even more sensational than in photos. Its two-tone paintwork and curvy, ‘smiley’ front, with short front and rear overhangs, cleverly link it directly back to the first (T1) Transporter van from 1950. This gives it a lot of personality and potential to be as iconic as the original split-screen campers. There are going to be lots of standard and two-tone colour schemes to choose from. Don’t you think it would look cool with some surfboards on top?

Is the VW ID. Buzz a people carrier?

The ID. Buzz is a people carrier with seating for five people, although we were told a longer version with more seats and larger battery capacity is said to be in the pipeline – but no indication when it will be launched.

In the driving seat, there is a great view ahead through the large front windscreen. The long wheelbase means the front and rear overhang is minimal, so like the T1, the driver sits almost on top of the front wheels.

Sliding side doors for the rear passengers make the ID. Buzz very practical for getting in and out of – especially in tight car parking spaces. The rear seat splits 60/40, rather than being individual seats like some people carriers. It uses recycled synthetic materials and definitely no leather.

What is the VW ID. Buzz Cargo van like?

You hopefully won’t be surprised to learn that there is a van version, too: the ID. Buzz Cargo. It has a rear loadspace that can take two Euro-pallets – so is a decent size and similar to the current T6.1. That means it could have strong potential as a base for campervan conversions.

Apart from the lack of side windows, the other key difference between the Buzz Cargo and the Buzz is a black-coloured steering wheel and dashboard. We reckon that’s a benefit, as it will be more practical than the light cream/white of the people-carrier version.

Like the current T6.1, the Cargo has a single or double passenger seat. We don’t know (yet) if there will be a Kombi version of the Buzz Cargo, but we predict that it must be highly likely.

Is the ID. Buzz smaller than a T6.1?

Size-wise, compared to the current T6.1, the ID. Buzz is slightly shorter (4,712mm long compared to 4,904mm) but 81mm wider, so overall, we’d say it is a very similar size.

Crucially, the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo are still under 2m tall (just), with a height of 1,937 mm/1,938 mm respectively, so they should fit under most height barriers.

Although it has similar dimensions to the current T6.1, the ID. Buzz felt bigger inside. That spacious feeling was probably helped by the big windscreen and side windows that let in plenty of light, plus the light-coloured decor.

How aerodynamic is the VW ID. Buzz?

That delightfully curvy nose of the ID. Buzz not only gives it a permanent smiley face, but also makes it smooth and aerodynamic. Both models have impressively low drag factors of 0.285 and 0.29 respectively. That will help it make the most of its battery power to increase its range.

What size battery and motor does the VW ID. Buzz have?

The Buzz joins VW’s all-electric ID range. If you’re a fan of electric cars, and Volkswagens, then you’ll already be familiar with the ID.3 and ID.4 which are already on UK roads. The ID. Buzz uses the Volkswagen Group’s ‘Modular Electric Drive’ (MEB) platform that is designed for mass production for all-electric cars across all its brands.

At launch, each Buzz model had a 77 kWh battery and a 150 kW electric motor to power the rear wheels. There’s no mention of the potential range for the battery yet, but the ID.4 also offers a 77 kWh battery which, VW reports, has a range of 320 miles. As it’s a bigger vehicle, it would be reasonable to expect the ID. Buzz to offer less range.

What high-tech features does the VW ID. Buzz have?

Have you heard of ‘Car2X’? It’s a warning system that ‘talks’ to other vehicles and the transport infrastructure to warn you about hazards on the road. Clever, eh? The ID. Buzz has plenty of new state-of-the-art technology like this, including a memory function for automated parking on a previously saved route and the technology so it can be used for autonomous mobility – coming soon to cities across the world.

Where is the VW ID. Buzz manufactured?

Another link to the past as far back as the original T1, is that the ID. Buzz is being produced from the same Volkswagen factory in Hannover, Germany. But production techniques have moved on, and VW told us that the process of manufacturing and shipping the ID. Buzz is carbon-neutral.

Will there be a VW ID. Buzz California campervan?

There can be no doubt that the ID. Buzz will make a stunning, super-cool campervan, but Volkswagen has not announced when it might make its own California conversion. It’s definitely not imminent, though. Any California version wouldn’t be until into the second half of this decade – so not before 2025 at the earliest.

Volkswagen has confirmed that the current California will continue on the T6.1 platform for at least the next couple of years.

Can the VW ID. Buzz Cargo be a campervan conversion?

As a van, the ID. Buzz Cargo will, we assume, offer a lot of potential for independent campervan conversions. However, the ID. Buzz’s batteries are stored in the floor of the vehicle between the front and rear axle, so that could pose some challenges for conversions and items such as underfloor tanks.

The Cargo is being launched at the same time as the MPV version, so we can be sure there will be a lot of suppliers interested in researching and developing parts for campervan conversions as soon as they can. That could take a while. We’ll all have to wait and see what clever solutions people come up with.

Will the T6.1 still be produced?

In the meantime, the good news is that the T6.1 is continuing in production as a commercial vehicle – so in van and shuttle formats. That means the supply of vans for campervan conversions will continue into the foreseeable future.

When can I get a VW ID. Buzz campervan?

There’s no doubt that the ID. Buzz is highly desirable as a people-carrier and everyday family vehicle. We predict that the school run will see people switching from SUVs to the coolest MPV on the planet (the ID. Buzz). Similarly, the VW ID. Buzz Cargo will be the van of choice for many, but nobody knows when it will be ready for campervan conversions.

Prices and specification details for the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo are set for release in May 2022 and they will be available for ordering shortly after that. Volkswagen hopes that first deliveries to customers will be in the autumn, but with the ongoing supply chain issues, it can’t be more precise than that at the moment.

One thing’s for sure, there isn’t going to be a campervan version of an ID. Buzz available anywhere soon. We will, of course, closely monitor the situation. But with T6.1 production confirmed to continue for a few years, we expect a good supply for campervan conversions.

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