Modern day Kombi
VOLKSWAGEN has silently rolled out a six-seat van concept dubbed the ID Buzz at the North American International Auto Show, tying together the traditional and much loved Kombi of yesteryear with a futuristic electric drivetrain and autonomous capability.
With an emissions-free powertrain, the ID Buzz previews the German carmaker’s plans to populate its range with electric and hybrid models from 2020, following in the tracks of the ID hatchback concept unveiled at the Paris motor show in 2016.
The Detroit show van styling is somewhere between the Paris show car and the current Transporter van and is unmistakably related to the cult-followed ‘dub’ vans with two-tone paint and boxy proportions.
Like the classic rear-engined Kombis that had no radiator at the front end thanks to aircooled engines, the ID Buzz has a grille-less snout that in fact hides a radiator for the power management system, but lighting in the form of LED headlights, illuminated badge and yellow ambient exterior lighting is purely futuristic.
At the back, slender taillights frame the generous rear hatch opening, while aesthetic air vents mimic the engine cooling air intakes of the original transporter.
With a 4943mm length, 1976mm width and 1963mm height, the ID Buzz is similar in proportions to its production-equivalent Volkswagen Multivan, which measures in at 5304mm long, 1904mm wide and 1990mm tall.
Like its ID hatchback sibling, the ID Buzz rolls on the VW Group’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform with an extended wheelbase of 3299mm and has a motor on each axle for a combined power output of 275kW.
With a hearty power figure and plenty of low-down electric torque, the ID Buzz can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 5 seconds – a sniff under the same time it takes a petrol-burning Volkswagen Golf R hot hatch to get from standstill to 100km/h.