Volkswagen is resurrecting its iconic microbus — the quintessential van associated with traveling Deadheads and the 1960s counterculture — as an all-electric van called the ID. Buzz.
The German automaker on Wednesday finally unveiled the electric vehicle as a 21st-century descendent of its T1 Microbus. VW has previewed such a product for more than 20 years through concept vehicles, including a well-received EV called the ID Buzz in 2017.
“The T1 — an icon of the 1950s — represents freedom and the democratization of mobility. With the ID. Buzz, we are transferring the T1 DNA to the present day and thus into the era of electric mobility and sustainability,” Jozef Kaban, head of Volkswagen design, said in a statement. While the original microbus was first manufactured in the ’50s, it became a cult phenomenon among the hippie generation in the next decade.
The ID. Buzz features large circular “VW” badges on the front and back of the vehicle — homages to the original microbus. It also features large windows around the vehicle, creating a greenhouse effect, and several other styling nods to its famed predecessor.
Two-tone ID. Buzz models, similar to the originals, will have Candy White roofs and V-shaped hoods. The lower portion of the vehicle will be available in four colors: Lime Yellow, Starlight Blue, Energetic Orange and Bay Leaf Green.
But don’t expect to round up all your friends and head west with your guitars just yet. The five-passenger vehicle is expected to go on sale in Europe later this year, followed by a larger six- or seven-seat version that’s slated to arrive in the U.S. in 2024.
VW did not release pricing or performance specifications for the U.S.-bound model, saying more details will be available closer to the vehicle’s launch.
For Europe, the smaller van, including a cargo version, will be capable of 201 horsepower and 229 foot-pounds of torque. VW said additional versions with various ranges and power output levels are expected beginning in 2023. The automaker did not release the electric range of the vehicle.
With DC fast charging, the ID. Buzz can charge up to 80% in 30 minutes, according to VW.