VW to Reprise the 1960s Microbus

 

Aug 31, 2017

Few vehicles bring one’s mind straight back to the 1960s, but chief among them is the Volkswagen Microbus.

Automotive News is reporting that VW is breathing new life into its classic “hippie van” with a relaunch – it’s not quite your dad’s VW bus, but it’s closer than any modern equivalent. The I.D. Buzz is part of a trio of planned models on the company's new electric vehicle platform, which will rely on a flat and thin battery to power vehicles with a range of some 270 miles per charge.

According to Volkswagen, the company has tried to resurrect its iconic Microbus “six or seven times” over the years, but they could never get it right. It wasn’t until they determined to build it on an electric vehicle platform that things suddenly fell into place.

According to Klaus Bischoff, head of Volkswagen brand design, that’s because they wanted to get away from the more “aggressive” looking grills adorning the fronts of most modern vehicles. He calls the grill-less front end “a happy look.”

Motor Authority describes the I.D. Buzz concept version as having a retractable steering wheel for a fully autonomous driving mode, and says the production version will offer Level 3 Autonomy, which means it will be able to do all the driving at certain times.

The production for the I.D. Buzz is said to be kicking off soon, with dealer availability targeted for 2022. VW hopes the van will have wide appeal in commercial vehicle applications.