Automotive News Europe reports that Volkswagen is planning three initial versions of the ID.Buzz van. Two of them are designed for Europe, the first being a "ride-pooling" version, the second a cargo van. We're not crystal clear on final seating capacity, ANE saying the Euro people-carrier will have six seats, each of them accessible individually and with a screen for each seat. For reasons that will become clear later, we assume this is actually an eight-passenger van. The cargo van will most likely look much like the Buzz prototypes caught in spy photos in June, with sheetmetal replacing most of the windows. A few years after launch, this Euro-focused cargo version is expected to be the VW Group's first Level 4 autonomous vehicle on sale. The VW exec in charge of autonomy said the company's plan is to have delivery drivers be passengers — driver's license optional — focused on delivering the parcels while the truck navigates itself to the day's drops.
Europe will get short- and long-wheelbase versions of the ID.Buzz. The van will be built in Hannover, Germany "alongside large and luxurious electric SUVs that will be produced there for different Volkswagen Group brands." This could be where the recently announced ID.8 large electric SUV is assembled.
The U.S. only gets the long-wheelbase version, and ANE says ours will be aimed at ride-sharing services that carry passengers "traveling alone or in small groups." The notable detail here is when ANE writes that our ID.Buzz "will have only four seats — two facing forward and two facing toward the rear of the vehicle." We're guessing ANE means that there will be six seats in the van, two in the cockpit facing forward, two at the back facing forward, and another pair between that face backward. If that's so, that's why we figure Europe's version is an eight-seater. Or else we're getting the strangest floorplan ever seen in a passenger van.
A previous report in Car and Driver declared the U.S. model would be an "upscale people carrier" potentially available with three choices of battery. The base variant sends around 200 horsepower to the rear wheels only, the most expensive trim sends around 300 hp to all four wheels.
The Buzz is said to be on schedule to debut next year and go on sale before the end of 2022. Our model will appear in 2023 for the 2024 model year.