Volkswagen Unveils 3


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Sep 02, 2023

Volkswagen Unveils 3

Tanya Gazdik | Jun 02, 2023 HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – Volkswagen’s 3-row ID. Buzz

Tanya Gazdik | Jun 02, 2023

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – Volkswagen's 3-row ID. Buzz electric van will go on sale nationwide in the U.S. in the second half of 2024, executives reveal ahead of the nostalgia-inducing vehicle's global introduction.

Andrew Savvas, Volkswagen North America chief sales and marketing officer, declines to discuss the battery-electric vehicle's price, predicted by many analysts to start in the $40,000-$50,000 range. He also declines to reveal battery range, saying testing is incomplete.

The 3-row ID. Buzz has been developed specifically for North America. It offers a longer wheelbase than the 2-row European vehicle that debuted in 2022, plus a bigger battery and more horsepower. It will be available in the U.S. and Canada next year, with plans in the future to release it in Mexico as well. The vehicle will be built in Hanover, Germany, along with the 2-row ID Buzz.

"There are no plans for U.S. production at the moment," Savvas says during a media roundtable the day before the reveal. "We will continue to build our volume cars, SUVs, here in the States."

While Savvas won't reveal projected U.S. sales of the Buzz, he says the German factory currently is capacity-contained and is able to build about 100,000 units of both versions of the van.

"Hopefully we’re more successful than that," Savvas tells Wards. "And that's the idea. That's my job – to make it as successful as possible and then beg for more production."

The majority of VW's 641 dealers are expected to achieve "battery competency," or the ability to completely service the vehicles, by the time the vehicle arrives, he says. Currently about 60% of dealers have that certification.

There is no plan for a reservation program and allocation to dealers will depend in part on the size of each state's EV market. Savvas says he anticipates the two coasts will account for the majority of sales.

The unveiling at a public beachside event in California was driven by the fact that VW sees California as a huge market for the vehicle. On hand were hundreds of owners of vintage VW vans who convened prior to the unveiling for a "cars and coffee" show-and-tell.

Just as with the original VW Bus, the 3-row ID. Buzz has a rear-mounted powerplant as standard, providing great traction, performance and agility. The rear motor produces 282 hp while the 2-row European-spec model debuted with 201 hp. The battery is also larger at 91 kWh (gross), compared with the 2-row model's 82-kWh battery.

The ID. Buzz's new electric motor increases top speed to an electronically limited 99 mph (159 km/h), up from the 2-row's 90 mph (145 km/h).

A battery-charging deal with Electrify America similar to what is offered with the ID. 4 is planned, Savvas says, adding that the battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in 25 minutes.

An even quicker version will arrive at launch in the form of the VW ID. Buzz AWD, which will carry the GTX designation in Europe only. Its twin-motor, all-wheel-drive setup will produce 334 hp, making it capable of 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.4 seconds.

A 2-seat commercial derivative is also planned for selected markets, Savvas says.

The skateboard design – with the battery mounted in the floor – saves space and contributes to better handling by locating a large percentage of the vehicle's weight low in the structure.

Savvas predicts the take-rate on AWD, which produces 330 hp, will be 50%-60%, similar to the ID. 4.

Like all current vehicles built on VW's modular electric drive (MEB) platform, the Buzz uses a multi-link rear suspension and struts at the front. The new APP550 rear-mounted motor is a permanent magnet synchronous design with maximum torque of 406 lb.-ft. (550 Nm), packaged with the 1-speed transmission and a new inverter (power and control electronics).

The Buzz retains its predecessors’ boxy shape with short overhangs, giving it maximum utility on a minimal footprint. It is 192.4 ins. (4,887 mm) long, nearly 10 ins. (254 mm) longer than the 2-row Buzz; all that additional length comes from a 127.5-in. (3,239-mm) wheelbase vs. 117.6 ins. (2,987 ins.) for the 2-row. It is 77.9 ins. (1,979 mm) wide and 74.6 ins. (1,895) tall, making it roughly as wide as a VW Atlas, but 5 ins. (127 mm) taller.

Given that the original Microbus from which the ID. Buzz is inspired was about as long as a ’19 Beetle and slightly narrower, this is a sizable increase. The coefficient of drag is 0.29.

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