First drive: VW ID Buzz 2022 prototype review

First drive: VW ID Buzz 2022 prototype review

Launch models get a sole rear-mounted electric motor making 201bhp and 229lb ft of torque, plus a battery with 77kWh of usable capacity, yielding a range that’s likely to be rated at around 250 miles (which, if delivered, would knock some of its MPV and commercial competition right out of contention).

Prices have yet to be confirmed, but Volkswagen insiders suggest that the first five-seat passenger versions will be relatively expensive – probably upwards of £50,000. Commercial versions should be a little cheaper, though, and cheaper derivatives with smaller batteries (as well as long-wheelbase versions, a camper van version and some higher-output, four-wheel-drive versions) will come later.

The ID Buzz is clearly ready to be a lot of things to a great many different people, but here’s one observation to start with: honestly, the new Microbus isn’t very micro.

The original Type 2 could measure less than 4.3 metres in length, depending on which version you plumped for. Whenever you see one, it’s the sheer amount of stuff that can be produced out of one, and then packed cleverly back in, that never fails to raise a smile. The ID Buzz, while only slightly taller than its forebear, is nearly a foot wider and a foot and a half longer, even in its smallest form. 

It’s a modern passenger vehicle, and so a bit of extra bulk was inevitable, perhaps. That it has squarer corners to its body than the 2017 concept was also important for the provision of enough interior space – especially for the commercial version (which has a load bay big enough to swallow two Euro pallets and can haul 600kg, boss).

But those who do fail to recognise this car’s famous ancestor when they look at an ID Buzz will, I suspect, do so because it’s simply too big for a really close resemblance. That, and because the ID Buzz doesn’t have the tiddly inboard wheelbase and forward-control cabin layout of the original Type 2, of course. How could it and still pass a modern frontal crash test?