Volkswagen is building a bigger Buzz

VOLKSWAGEN has just revealed the new long wheelbase version of its electric ID Buzz van.

Launched last year in five-seater people carrier and cargo van form, the imminent ‘long’ ID Buzz will have enough room for a third row of seats to transport up to seven passengers, a smart glass panoramic roof, plus a more powerful electric motor and bigger battery available as options.

The new version was unveiled in the US last week at the VW Bus festival in California's Huntington Beach, just off the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, and will make its European debut at the international VW Bus Festival in Hanover at the end of this month.

Thomas Schäfer, member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG, Brand Group Volume enthused: “Volkswagen is an extremely strong global brand with a great history, millions of loyal fans and legendary products.

“I am therefor delighted that the team at Volkswagen Group of America is celebrating the premiere of the ID Buzz with long wheelbase here. With this model, we are taking a big step towards becoming a ‘true love’ brand again.”

The ‘long’ ID Buzz has a total length of 4,962 mm, an increase in wheelbase of 250 mm over the standard Buzz, which is how they’ve slotted in that third row of seats. All the rear seats can be folded flat or removed entirely, creating up to 2,469 litres of storage space: there’s 1,340 litres with five seats in place and 306 litres with a full passenger load.

Standard battery size remains 77 kWh, as with the normal Buzz, but a larger 82 kWh battery will be available as an option for increased range (there’s no WLTP data on how much benefit that brings just yet), while a new heat pump will increase energy efficiency in winter.

The longer ID Buzz will also be available with a new 210 kW/ 286 hp electric motor making 413 lb ft of torque with a maximum speed of 99mph and 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds.

An even more powerful all-wheel drive version, the ID Buzz GTX, has also been announced for 2024: it boasts a 250 kW / 339hp motor which will be able to sprint from 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds.

Inside the newly elongated electric 'bus', a 12.9-inch touchscreen provides access to VW’s latest infotainment system, with a 5.3-inch driver’s display catering for all essential on-the-go data. The long Buzz’s climate control functions are now backlit for ease of operation after dark (they still refuse to offer simple tactile dials or switches, sadly) and there’s a new head-up display which projects speed and navigation info onto the windscreen, plus remote parking via the VW mobile app.

The long wheelbase ID Buzz features a newly designed high-tech panoramic sunroof with 1.5m2 of smart glass, the largest glass roof ever built by Volkswagen, which can be electronically tinted to opaque and back again. Supposedly, this will “bring back memories of the Samba Bus of the 1950s”. 

The North American versions will also come loaded with air-conditioned seats and a cool illuminated Volkswagen logo on the front – which seems a bit unfair to buyers on this side of the pond, but there you go.

The lwb ID Buzz is set to become available in Europe early next year. No pricing details have been announced yet, but with the regular ID Buzz currently starting at just shy of £59k, you can probably expect to pay the guts of £70k for the expanded version.

Best start saving now, then.