Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz

The three-row ID. Buzz is planned for sale in the North American market starting in 2024.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. unveiled the three-row ID. Buzz in Huntington Beach, California today. Paying homage to the iconic Volkswagen Microbus, the three-row ID. Buzz has been tailored specifically for North America. It offers a longer wheelbase than the two-row European vehicle that debuted in 2022, plus a bigger battery and more horsepower. Retro design cues—like the oversized VW logo, short overhangs, and available two-tone color palette—meet a tailored interior, cutting-edge EV technology, and advanced driver assistance features, clearly marking it as a vehicle of the future. The three-row ID. Buzz is planned for sale in the North American market starting in 2024.

“The zero-direct emission ID. Buzz is the spiritual reincarnation of the Microbus, reimagined for our electric future,” said Pablo Di Si, President and CEO of Volkswagen of America, Inc. “It is practical, sustainable, and packaged in an unmistakably fun way that is classic Volkswagen. With its launch, the Bus will once again become our brand hero in America.”

Just as with the original Bus, the three-row ID. Buzz has a rear-mounted powerplant as standard, providing great traction, performance and agility. The rear motor produces 282 horsepower, in comparison to the two-row European-spec model, which debuted with 201 hp. The battery is also larger at 91 kWh (gross), compared with the two-row model’s 82 kWh battery. The efficient skateboard design—with the battery mounted in the floor—not only saves space, but also contributes to better handling by locating a large percentage of the vehicle’s weight low down in the structure. All-wheel drive is available for the three-row ID. Buzz at launch, with about 330 hp and dual motors. Like all current modular electric drive (MEB) vehicles, the Buzz uses a multi-link rear suspension and struts at the front.

The new APP550 rear-mounted motor is a PMS (permanent magnet synchronous) design with a maximum torque of 406 pound-feet, packaged with the one-speed transmission and a new inverter (power and control electronics). The increase in power, torque and efficiency is achieved by a rotor with stronger permanent magnets that have a high thermal load capacity, a newly developed stator with a larger effective number of turns and maximum wire cross-section, a water cooling jacket for the outside of the stator, and a combined oil and water cooling system that also ensures higher thermal stability. The new electric motor of the ID. Buzz increases the top speed to an electronically limited 99 mph, up from the two-row’s 90 mph.

Outside, the ID. Buzz retains its traditionally boxy shape with short overhangs, giving it maximum utility on a minimal footprint. It is 192.4 inches in length, nearly 10 inches longer than the two-row Buzz; all that additional length comes from a 127.5-inch wheelbase, versus 117.6 inches for the two-row. It is 77.9 inches wide and 74.6 inches tall, making it roughly as wide as an Atlas, but five inches taller. Given that the original Bus was about as long as a 2019 Beetle and slightly narrower, this is a sizable increase.  The coefficient of drag is just 0.29—very good for a vehicle of this shape.

Retro cues throughout are a throwback to the original Bus, while reinterpreting the design for the future. The iconic oversized VW logo is illuminated, with a light line that extends to either side, connecting to the LED headlights. Bold exterior colors, with an available two-tone color palette, include many found on the two-row ID. Buzz—Energetic Orange, Pomelo Yellow and Mahi Green, for example. Others, such as Cabana Blue, Metro Silver, and Indium Grey, are all-new.

Dual power-sliding rear doors with Easy Open and Close provide excellent access to the third row and are replete with a modern take on the classic sliding windows—also fully powered. The Buzz also features standard power-folding and heated side mirrors, plus a standard power tailgate with Easy Open and Close. This features allows owners to approach the vehicle with keys in a pocket or purse, and kick a foot under the rear bumper to either open or close the tailgate as needed. Proximity unlocking and keyless entry with illuminated door handles on the front makes ingress easy. On the D-pillar, air “vents” recall the original Bus’s rear-engine cooling slots. The aerodynamically optimized 20-inch wheels are a full four inches larger in diameter than a 1950 T2 model’s.

Inside, attention has been paid to every detail—from the retro-inspired wood-optic dash to the whimsical Play and Pause pedals from the 2016 BUZZ concept, to Buzz easter eggs scattered throughout the vehicle. The removable center console includes flexible storage on top, with two unique dividers that double as a bottle opener and ice scraper, as well as two additional compartments below.

Three interior color and trim choices are available. A dark brown and black combination includes dark brown leatherette seats with white piping, blue door inserts and a dark wood-look dash, paired with black headliner and décor pieces. A light grey and clay combination pairs light grey leatherette seats with clay-colored piping, clay door inserts, a light wood-look dash, and light grey décor pieces. The final combination gives a balanced modern look with light brown leatherette seats with yellow piping, light grey door inserts and a washed wood-look dash, paired with black.

Ambient lighting with 30 colors is standard, and allows drivers to select from five preset moods, or choose to different areas individually. The wide-open greenhouse can be further enhanced by an available panoramic glass sunroof with electrochromic tinting, which changes from clear to opaque with the swipe of a finger.

This sunroof is 67.4 inches long and 40.8 inches wide, making this the largest of any in the Volkswagen Group. The roof works through a PDLC (polymer-dispersed liquid crystal) layer integrated into the glass. Current is applied to the crystals in this layer to create transparency, with opacity happening when the PDLC layer is de-energized. Additional coating in the glass helps to reflect sunlight to help reduce the heat that could enter the vehicle.

Comfort reigns supreme in the ID. Buzz. The high seating position gives drivers supreme visibility. In addition to full perforated leatherette seating, all Buzz models are equipped with standard 12-way power driver and passenger seats with dual armrests, ventilation, massage, and memory functions; front seats and outboard second-row seats are heated. Standard Climatronic® automatic climate control keeps the cabin comfortable no matter the season, and all three rows have dedicated air vents. Second- and third-row windows are tinted for privacy, helping to maintain the interior temperature. The second-row seats can be folded down in a 60:40 split and the seat backs can be raked by 16 degrees. In addition, the bench can be moved fore and aft by up to 7.9 inches, and it can be moved forward by 4 inches at the touch of a handle to allow for better third-row egress.

When temperatures drop outside, the standard heated steering wheel keeps drivers cozy; heated windshield washer nozzles are standard and a heated windshield is also available, all helping to maximize efficiency. Seating for seven is standard, and captain’s chairs are available, with seating for six. The second and third rows fold flat, and the third row can be removed entirely. An available Flexboard, with two fabric storage bins, creates a flat floor with the seats folded. The available Harman Kardon premium audio system with 14 speakers will amplify any listening experience; nine speakers are standard.

Modern technology in the ID. Buzz offers a fully connected experience. In the cockpit, drivers are presented with two screens: the 5.3-inch ID. Cockpit, which sits behind the steering wheel with key information, and the 12.9-inch central infotainment display. The Buzz makes it easier than ever to connect compatible devices with standard wireless App-Connect, wireless charging, plus eight USB-C ports throughout the vehicle, a 110V outlet under the passenger seat, and 12-volt charging in the cargo area.

The infotainment system has been upgraded in line with the upcoming ID.7 sedan. The touch sliders for volume and temperature have been illuminated. The infotainment screen now has the climate functions integrated in the bottom of the display, allowing immediate access to these functions.

Operation has become simpler, more intuitive and more customizable. The top bar of the display now has a new direct access function on the left, which opens the main menu with an overview of all apps with just one click. Next to it is a button for the new Car Control Center, which offers direct access to the most important vehicle functions, which can be configured individually. The main menu and the Car Control Center can be opened at any time without having to exit the active app. This significantly simplifies operation. The new home screen in the middle combines the content of the most important apps on tiles of different sizes. In addition to classic content such as navigation and radio/media, the tiles also offer new functions such as suggestions from the voice assistant. The home screen can also be individually configured by the user.

The Buzz also comes with the ID. Light system—a light strip that runs below the windshield and provides the driver with intuitive support. It uses various light pulses to signal status such as readiness to drive, turn instructions from the navigation system, brake prompts from driver-assistance systems, and incoming phone calls. When using voice commands, it signals that it is listening, similar to voice-activation on mobile phones or virtual assistants. When the ID. Buzz is plugged in to charge, the ID. Light indicates the current level of charge.

IQ.DRIVE® driver assistance technology, featuring hands-on Level 2 ready capability, is standard in the ID. Buzz. On the highway, IQ.DRIVE features lane centering and a capacitive steering wheel to help make driving easier. Around town, IQ.DRIVE helps alert you to obstacles in front of you, and keeps an eye around you to help make driving safer. Dynamic Road Sign Display is standard as well, and a head-up display, Park Assist with remote parking, and Area View are available features.

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