We traveled to Copenhagen to try out ID.Buzz, the long-awaited electric van with which Volkswagen aims to write a new chapter in its history. The ‘minibus’ of the house in Wolfsburg, and it is not by chance that we call it that, is largely inspired by the historic Bulli, the van that raged on roads all over the world between the sixties and seventies, often customized according to need: a symbol of autonomy, independence and adventure. But which, on the other hand, was also one of the most used work vehicles thanks to the large load capacity and reliability of the engine.
Here, climbing aboard ID.Buzz you return to that light and propulsive atmosphere. The raised driving position, typical of the Bulli since the beginning, also characterizes ID.Buzz. Just as at a glance the small instrument panel, albeit today in digital format, is much more than a simple reference to the single lens of the ancestor. In the center of the dashboard is the large infotainment panel. Even the air vents recall those of the ancient Bulli, with their silver knobs and shaped fins.
As well as the livery also proposed in numerous two-tone shades, the interiors of recycled plastic material and bright colors are a broad reference to values that are rooted in the past. The cockpit looks as essential as that of the minibus of over 50 years ago, but it is not: design miracles. And indeed, whatever you are looking for, there is. But not in a flashy way.
At the wheel, from the very first meters, ID.Buzz proves to be easy to use. The 4.70 meters in length by 1.90 meters in height are forgotten: the wheelbase of almost three meters makes the passenger compartment extremely comfortable, and the turning radius of only 11 meters guarantees truly precious handling in the city, where also the ID.Buzz version Cargo – also presented in Copenhagen – is aiming for a leading role.
The kilometers traveled on the uncluttered roads around the Danish capital go by quickly, highlighting even more characteristics of a sedan than of a large minivan: the batteries anchored to the bottom of the floor, the rear-wheel drive (as in the original Bulli) and the efficiency of the driver assistance systems ensure comfort, giving the trip a special, modern taste but with those retro notes we were looking for. The engine is always ready, and the size, while not indifferent – almost two and a half tons the tonnage – takes a back seat.
ID.Buzz comes from VW’s MEB platform and is equipped with a 77 kWh battery which ensures 422 km of travel in the WLTP circuit, and which takes about 30 minutes to recharge to 80% at fast charge. The power of 204 hp allows you to stop the 0-100 km / h chronometer at 10.2 seconds. The speed is self-limited to 145 km / h: more than enough for safe overtaking, respectful of the limits and also of the battery life. Numbers that translate into balanced performances, adequate to the vehicle and its purposes. The space on board is practically unrivaled: 1121 liters the capacity of the trunk, which doubles by folding down the second row of seats.
Even the low environmental impact of ID.Buzz can be counted among the elements of the ideal passing of the baton with Bulli. The adoption of a battery-powered engine as well as the total renunciation of materials of animal origin in favor of fabrics and yarns from recycled plastic make the footprint on the environment almost neutral, in total compliance with the objectives that Volkswagen has set itself in terms emissions, as well as legislation.
Wide, in the version object of our test, the endowment of adas. From Travel Assist with data exchange and automated lane change to Park Assist Plus which allows you to park your vehicle automatically in your garage, carport or company car park. There is no shortage of short-range danger alarms as standard and the pedestrian and cyclist detection system are instead standard equipment. In addition, the control units of the ID. Buzz are equipped with software that can be updated over-the-air, without going to the workshop.
To drag us by force in 2022 is the price that starts at 66 thousand euros. Far from being a nostalgia operation, therefore: ID.Buzz, which will also arrive in the next few years in more powerful, more capacious, and even 4×4 versions, is inspired by an illustrious ancestor whom it looks with respect, but proposes itself as a novelty on the market both in stylistic terms and with cutting-edge technological solutions.
Proof? Several times during the test, the discreet Danes forced their natural reluctance to come and see ID.Buzz up close. And they invariably walked away with a smile.
Bulli is back.
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