Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard all about Volkswagen’s plans concerning going back to the future. The exciting and retro-inspired ID Buzz is now just a little over a week away from being officially launched. So now’s the time to answer your questions about this incredible reimagining of the classic Type 2 Veedub campervan.
The VW campervan has certainly come a long way since its inception in the 1950s. And where once amongst its somewhat simplistic USP’s of ‘ensuring that there was enough space for surfboards’, times/society/driver needs have changed. And now tech gadgetry leads the way, in terms of what your typical campervan owner/driver wants to find onboard. While environmentally-friendly underpinnings are more than merely lip service-paying overtures.
Hence why we’ve now arrived at the ID Buzz.
The type of camper that’s kind to the planet it travails. Yet is wedged with the kind of personal technology which we seemingly can’t function without in more domestic environs. Sympathetically fusing electric power with the very latest cutting-edge tech which you need a PhD in Bill Gates to fathom, the ID Buzz will appeal to an expansive demographic, make no mistake.
With media embargos remaining in place until immediately prior to launch, the general public are only being drip-fed odds and ends thus far. And in terms of the finished aesthetic, the ‘test mule’ exterior patterns are successfully masking the key perspectives and distracting rivals keen to discover how the ID Buzz physically pans out.
From Concept to Reality
The reinvention of few recently reimagined iconic vehicles have created such a, er, buzz, more than the rebooted Veedub Bus. And that includes the revisited VW Beetle, Fiat 500 and BMW Mini One. All of which generated quite the stir on entering the public domain at various junctures in recent history.
So the pressing question is this. Just what do we know to be the actual truth so far.
Here’s What VW Has Actually Said.
So, What Does It Look Like Beneath the Camo?
The swirly rainbow-coloured camouflage is merely a distraction to throw everyone off the final scent. And a ploy all automotive manufacturers have been actioning for decades so as not to reveal too much until the official reveal. However in the case of the ID Buzz, irrespective of the various colourways, the viewer gets a good eyeful of what the final cut will effectively be.
We’ve Heard It Has LED Eyes. Is This True?
Yes it is. Rather than having typical round headlights, the ID Buzz is designed with in-built ‘intelligent LED eyes’. Ones which communicate with both the driver and pedestrians. To explain this in Layman’s terms, imagine you’re about to turn a corner. The headlights will automatically point in the direction you’re facing. And here’s the even more clever bit. In the event that any pedestrians or cyclists are entering the road space, it can focus on them and facilitate subtle light signals to make them aware that the ID Buzz is about to share that road space with them.
What Sort of Power Will The ID Buzz Pack?
Now, don’t assume that the ID Buzz will be offering Tesla-esque turns of acceleration. After all, this is a leisure-orientated vehicle, with weekend get-aways and adventuring very much its number one priority. That being said, a 0 - 62mph can hardly be described as ‘sluggish’. Although a maximum speed of 90mph isn’t going to quicken the driver’s pulse. But that’s NOT what the ID Buzz is about. Not in that way, any road. More about alternative forms of excitement-inducement. And saving the planet, naturally.
What the ID Buzz does pack a lot of - aside from the outdoor gear belonging to future owners - is a lot of range. Regarding how far it can circumnavigate between full charges, Volkswagen is talking in the region of an impressive 250 miles. However, there’s a range of batteries supposedly being made available, with the range-topping version possibly affording the driver some 342 miles.
We’ve Heard That The Turning Circle Borders on Triumph Herald Territory. Can You Confirm This?
Pretty much accurate. If you remember, the Triumph Herald famously turned on itself. Almost. With its bonnet threatening to nudge its boot when being animatedly flung into roundabouts. The ID Buzz is similarly agile when it comes to pivoting. Its turning circle mightily good for a large vehicle, and therefore making it a cinch to handle in challenging spots.
Will It Be Solar-Powered?
Not exactly in a Jetsons style fashion. But more a roof-mounted solar panel that it’s suggested might be optional on the new ID Buzz. Such tech would augur well for small volumes of battery charging being potentially available, in between episodes of plugging the van into the mains.
What Do We Know About The Interior Layout?
That’s the moot question. Not a lot here and now, due to VW’s media embargo on its interior space. Reliant on conventional ‘spy shots’, it’s been widely observed that the ID Buzz will benefit from a hi-tech cabin area as expected. With a layout said to be reminiscent of the VW ID 4. With whispers of a small instrument display and a nub on its left functioning as the gear selector. While the infotainment system screen appears to float in front of the dashboard. There’s also excitement over an augmented reality head-up display, which is set to project directions directly onto the road in front of the ID Buzz.
Oh, and did we mention the two glass panels in the roof? One positioned over the driver and passenger. T’other, more generously proportioned glass panel over the rear seats.
Just How Hi-Tech Will The Tech Be?
Geek heaven, essentially. At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Volkswagen discussed its partnership with Nvidia. And how it was incorporating the tech company’s artificial intelligence system into the ID Buzz. It’s said that the vehicle can recognise the owner and automatically unlock the doors to allow them entry. In addition to this, there’s also voice and gesture recognition systems in situ.
What’s The Price Tag?
Rumoured to be in the ballpark of £45 - 50k on launch, this puts the ID Buzz into the affordability realm of many people looking for something a little bit different. Or a little lot different in a sector which is often defined by some faceless options. Away from the VW stable of yore, suffice to say.
Where Do Wirral Custom Campers Come Into All This?
Well, we’re just very interested observers right now. Like the rest of the watching campervan conversion world. Waiting. Watching. Hoping. Excited. Excited about what for a long time has existed only in the realms of concept vehicles. As opposed to the sphere of reality. Being massive fans of Volkswagen campervans through the ages, we appreciate the significance of the ID Buzz. And what it might potentially represent.
Of course, we also relish the prospect of one day in the (now) more foreseeable future being able to convert the entry-level cargo van version of the ID Buzz into the type of campervan our customers new and old would be enthusiastic about owning.
In the meantime, we will continue busying ourselves and applying our experience and skills to the VW campervans we see before us. And work on each and every week. On customer’s vans like yours. As well as the creation of our own visions. Ground-up builds in the mould of our ‘Project Swamper’ and the ‘Blue + Red Sportsvan’.
Get in touch right now if you’re looking for literally ANYTHING Volkswagen campervan.