The VW bus is back! Well, not quite yet, but we got a sneak peek at Volkswagen’s new electric three-row ID. Buzz at the automaker’s global reveal event in Huntington Beach, California, last week. The long-wheelbase EV bus is set to arrive in the United States in 2024 as a 2025 model, packed with a big battery and more horsepower, rear-wheel-drive and AWD powertrain options, seating for seven, and bright 1960s-inspired color combos.
The Long-Awaited Celebration
The global reveal was full of color, fun, and tons of festivity.
“The zero-direct emission ID. Buzz is the spiritual reincarnation of the Microbus, reimagined for our electric future,” said Pablo Di Si, President and CEO of Volkswagen of America, Inc. “It is practical, sustainable, and packaged in an unmistakably fun way that is classic Volkswagen. With its launch, the Bus will once again become our brand hero in America.”
Volkswagen’s new all-electric ID. Buzz pays homage to its old-school predecessor in many respects. The three-row bus maintains its boxy shape, giving it maximum usability potential. Similar to the traditional microbus we all know and love, it carries an oversized front VW logo, though the Buzz’s insignia is strikingly illuminated as it joins both LED headlights together in a modern, unified mark.
Bright two-tone paint schemes, including Pomelo Yellow, Mahi Green, and Energetic Orange, share stylistic cues with the original bus, though a few one-color options can also be had. The ID. Buzz also showcases a rear-mounted powerplant, same as the microbus, and showcases black D-pillar air vents, acknowledging the original bus’s rear-engine cooling openings.
A private showing gave us the opportunity to see the VW ID. Buzz up close. Not only were we able to check out the exterior, but we got to sit in it, adjust the seats, and play around with some of Volkswagen’s tech features, including its colorful interior mood lighting.
The ID. Buzz’s exterior offers a striking silhouette with interesting connections of color and body panel transitions. Our initial reaction: This VW could earn its place in MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) based on its overall design and intention.
Power: The new North American rear-motor-equipped model produces 282 horsepower, compared to the two-row European-spec model, which has 201 hp. This model’s battery pack is also larger, at 91 kWh (gross), compared with the two-row model’s smaller 82 kWh battery. All-wheel drive will be available for the three-row ID. Buzz and will generate 330 hp with its dual motors. The new ID. Buzz’s top speed will be limited to 99 miles an hour, faster than its European counterpart, which tops out at 90 mph.
Size: Made specifically for the North American market, the long wheelbase ID. Buzz has stretched the wheelbase 10 inches, which equals 127.5″ versus 117.6″ for the two-row. This offers up plenty of room for cargo, passengers, and adventurous fun. It’s 192.4″ long, 77.9″ wide, and 74.6″ wide—about the width of an Atlas but five inches taller. Note: North America will only get the long wheelbase model.
Exterior Features: The 2025 long-wheelbase VW ID. Buzz features dual power-sliding rear doors that include powered sliding windows, a nod to its microbus past. A standard power tailgate also offers easy stowage ability—with all three openings including VW’s Easy Open and Close feature. If the keys are on the owner, a quick kick of a foot under either slider door or the tailgate will open or close it as needed. Additionally, standard power-folding, heated side mirrors come with every ID. Buzz. The aerodynamic 20-inch wheels add to its retro-inspired flavor.
Interior Accoutrements: The VW ID. Buzz’s interior pairs retro-inspired elements with modern tech. Three trim options and interior color packages are available, and Buzz “easter eggs” can be found throughout the bus. An available panoramic glass sunroof, measuring 67.4″ long by 40.8″ wide—equipped with electrochromic tinting—can change the expansive view from clear to opaque with a swipe of a finger. Not only does this change the lighting within the vehicle, but it will also help reflect sunlight and reduce unwanted in-cabin heating on a hot day.
Second and third-row seats fold flat, though only the third row is removable. An available Flexboard, offered with a set of fabric storage cases, creates a flat floor with the seats folded. This creates the ultimate cargo-carrying or in-bus sleeping opportunities.
Technology Reigns: The VW ID. Buzz comes connected with two screens. A large 12.9″ infotainment screen is in the center stack and is the control module for all things bus-related. A smaller 5.3″ driver’s side screen sits embedded near the top of the dashboard. It displays all of the important vehicle information. Standard wireless phone connectivity and wireless charging keep smartphone users happy, while eight USB-C ports, a 110V outlet, and a 12V plug in the cargo area have other devices charged while on the go.
The Buzz also features an ID. Light system—a pulsating lighting system that runs below the windshield. It gives the driver pertinent information like turn instructions from its navigation system, incoming calls, driving readiness, and more.
Other tech-assisted features include VW’s IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology that includes standard lane centering, prompts that alert drivers about nearby obstacles, adaptive cruise control, and a capacitive steering wheel to assist with driving. Dynamic Road Sign Display, Park Assist with remote parking, Area View, and a heads-up display are available features.
Range for the ID. Buzz hasn’t been announced yet, but based on other Volkswagen EV models, we’re anticipating it to be around 250 miles. Pricing should be announced closer to its North American release date.
Approximately 300 VW microbuses joined together to celebrate Volkswagen’s 2025 ID. Buzz unveiling. Rows of them lined an oversized beachside parking lot as event attendees got glimpses of the new VW EV bus on the grandstand, as well as on display in numerous fashions.
From multi-colored peace-love buses to off-road-ready capable ones, each air-cooled Type 2 carried a book of memories atop its chassis and had owners willing to share them. Eccentric interiors mingled with sparse ones as the world of Skittles glittered every paint color imaginable on our tarmac-topped canvas. It was truly a memorable occasion, filled with VW bus enthusiasts, young and old alike—all excited to show off their original bus while helping to celebrate the new one.
[Images copyright 2023 Mercedes Lilienthal for Hooniverse]