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VW Microbus concept has 600km range and eight seats

11 January 2017

Volkswagen is set to define electric mobility with the I.D.BUZZ; a zero emission, all-wheel drive, electric MPV with space for bikes and boards.

Volkswagen Showcar I.D. BUZZ (Credit: Volkswagen)

Volkswagen is demonstrating with the I.D. BUZZ concept vehicle, in NAIAS 2017 in Detroit, just how rich in features the electric mobility of tomorrow will be – an all-wheel drive spatial marvel with electric motors on front and rear axles, a fully automated driving mode (I.D. Pilot) and a new generation of indicators and controls. 

"The I.D. BUZZ is the next generation MPV. It is based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) and provides comfort and loads of space for long journeys. Its electric range as per the NEDC is up to 600km", explains Dr Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for the Development Division. The I.D. BUZZ takes on new energy inductively or from a charging station. At a charging power of 150kW, it takes around 30 minutes to charge up to 80 percent.

It was just four months ago that Volkswagen unveiled the little brother of the I.D. BUZZ at the Paris Motor Show: the I.D.3 A compact electric car that will launch as of 2020 with ranges of up to 600km. The first car to go into series production based on the MEB and the first Volkswagen concept car that can be driven in fully automated mode.

The new I.D. BUZZ is now the first MPV with which that is possible: all that is needed is a gentle push on the steering wheel and it instantly moves back, melts into the cockpit and switches the I.D. BUZZ from manual into the fully automated 'I.D. Pilot' mode (envisaged as of 2025). Now, the driver's seat can be turned around and the driver can face the passengers in the back. Laser scanners, ultrasound sensors, radar sensors, area-view cameras and a front camera scan the surrounding area, with other traffic data being received via the Cloud.

In the I.D. BUZZ the conventional cockpit no longer exists. The MPV instead projects the key information by means of an AR (augmented reality) Head-up Display into the driver's field of vision – in 3D, in virtual format onto the road. Features such as the infotainment and air-conditioning functions are operated via a removable tablet. The main controls for driving, meanwhile, are located on the steering wheel. Its inner section is not – as is normal today – fitted with spokes and buttons, but rather has a kind of touchpad with capacitive fields, thus turning the traditional steering wheel into a multi-functional touch-sensitive steering wheel.

Volkswagen Showcar I.D. BUZZ (Credit: Volkswagen)

The use of space in the concept car, which has up to eight seats, competes other electric vehicles. It is 4,942mm long, 1,976mm wide and 1,963mm high.

However, the I.D. BUZZ is not just a giant in terms of space: by virtue of its design it also becomes one of the world's most comfortable cars. At 3,300mm, it has an extremely long wheelbase. Located in between in the vehicle floor is the battery. It lowers the centre of gravity and ensures perfect weight distribution. The suspension of the I.D. BUZZ, with its electronically regulated shock absorbers, additionally ensures top-class comfort. The zero emission all-wheel drive system with output power of 275kW/374 PS (electric motors front and rear each delivering 150kW) is the perfect match for the car's dynamic character. The version of the I.D. BUZZ presented in Detroit reaches 100km/h in five seconds; its top speed is restricted to 160km/h.

Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management, explains: "The I.D. BUZZ stands for the new Volkswagen: modern, positive, emotional, future-orientated. By 2025, we want to sell one million electric cars per year, making e-mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen. From 2020 onwards we will launch our I.D. family, a new generation of fully electric, fully connected cars. It will be affordable for millions, not just to millionaires."

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