At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Volkswagen is presenting the electric successor to its legendary Bulli minibus, a concept microbus called I.D. BUZZ, thus continuing the story that began in Paris and will, according to Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management, make the I.D. family affordable for millions. The first production model is expected in 2020.

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As per NEDC, I. D. BUZZ has an electric range of up to 600 kilometres, provided by the battery that is located in between in the vehicle floor. In about 30 minutes, it can be charged up to 80 per cent at a charging power of 150 kW. The zero emission relatively large minibus has two electric motors, front and rear, each delivering 150 kW for a total output power of 275 kW / 374 PS. The motors help the all-wheel drive vehicle reach 100 km/h in 5 seconds, while its top speed is electronically restricted to 160 km/h.

Technically based on the extended MEB XL platform, this 4,942 mm long, 1,976 mm wide and 1,963 mm high concept vehicle also has a very long wheelbase at 3,300 mm. The low location of the battery also lowers the centre of gravity and ensures perfect weight distribution for solid road positioning of the vehicle, which is additionally improved by electronically regulated shock absorbers.

Due to the vehicle's angular form, the passenger cabin offers a lot of comfort and loads of space for five passengers. Classic instruments in the cockpit have been moved away – instead, the MPV projects the key information by means of an AR (augmented reality) Head-up Display into the driver's field of vision – in 3D, in virtual format onto the road.

I.D. BUZZ can switch from manual into the fully automated 'I.D. Pilot' mode (envisaged as of 2025) easily - all the driver needs to do is give a gentle push on the steering wheel that instantly moves back into the dashboard, while the driver's seat turns around and the driver can face the passengers in the back. This way, they can all enjoy in other, driving-unrelated activities.

Jan. 10, 2017 Driving photo: VW

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