Volkswagen's electric car offensive will include a production version of the ID.Buzz concept unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The heritage-laced van is nearing production, but one key aspect is still missing: its name.
Johan de Nysschen, Volkswagen of America's chief operating officer, told Motor Trend company insiders refer to the upcoming, MEB-based production model as the ID.Buzz. "There is no formal name yet," he affirmed.
In a major break with tradition, the company is taking a de Nysschen-approved alphanumerical approach to naming its upcoming range of electric cars; the Golf-sized hatchback it introduced in 2019 is called ID.3, and unverified reports claim the upcoming America-bound crossover will be called ID.4. The Buzz (pictured) could follow this naming system by slotting near the top of the ID range, or it could buck the trend by getting a completely different nameplate. Buzzy McVan Face? Volkswagen still has time to figure it out.
Regardless of what it's called, Volkswagen's modern-day Bus is tentatively scheduled to enter production in Germany in 2022. It will be sold in numerous global markets, including the United States and Canada, but it won't be built outside of the company's home country. Product planners envision it as a lifestyle-oriented model comfortably positioned in a niche, not as a high-volume van, so there's no need to build it in several factories.
The model's unveiling date hasn't been locked in yet, but Volkswagen announced one of its first public outings will be during the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar. Engineers are working hand-in-hand with Qatari officials to reliably deploy a fleet of autonomous Buzz-based prototypes on the streets of Doha, the nation's capital, to shuttle spectators around points of interest during the event. At the other end of the spectrum, the Buzz will spawn a more utilitarian variant aimed largely at businesses seeking a fun, zero-emissions delivery van.
Volkswagen will publish additional information about the ID.Buzz – including technical specifications and, crucially, its name – in the coming months. Don't expect to see it in showrooms until the 2023 model year.
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