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Volkswagen Is Releasing A New Electric Version Of Its Iconic Retro Bus

The nostalgic classic is back—and this time it can drive itself!

The classic Volkswagen Bus made a big comeback at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

Known as the “I.D. Buzz”—a play on the original bus name—the updated microbus features many bells and whistles to bring this retro favorite into the 21st century.

Vintage Bus, Modern Features

Today’s car consumer wants the latest technology, including cleaner engines and better gas mileage. The I.D. Buzz has the following features:

  • An all-electric driving range of up to 270 miles on one charge
  • Seating for up to eight and two luggage compartments
  • An “I.D. Pilot” driving mode. What does this mean? The driver’s seat can be turned 180 degrees to face the rear, if desired.
  • An electric all-wheel drive with two motors and 369 horsepower
  • A head-up display that projects information via augmented reality
  • A flexible center console with tablet display and Beats® Bluetooth® loudspeakers that can be used outside the vehicle

Because of the 369-horsepower engine, the new Microbus can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds. However, its top speed will be limited to 99 miles an hour.

The electric motor is part of a new company policy to lower emissions. Recently, Volkswagen agreed to promote electric cars after being found responsible for altering emission testing results.

As a result, Volkswagen created the “I.D. Buzz.”

A New Interpretation Of A Classic

The classic VW Bus is an icon of American transportation, a symbol of the 1960s and 1970s. Remember these?

Volkswagon bus photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

The new I.D. Buzz is a “new interpretation” of the classic model.

For example, one obvious feature is the familiar front end with its characteristic “V” and likeable “face.” Designers kept the spirit of the design, but updated it.

“Instead of the round headlights used in the original model, in designing the I.D. BUZZ we opted for slender LED systems, which not only turn night into day, but also interactively communicate with other road users and pedestrians,” said Oliver Stefani, Head of Volkswagen Exterior Design, in a media statement.

When Can You Get A New Volkswagen Bus?

Volkswagen did not give a specific launch date for its newest microbus. However, a company executive hinted at 2020 for a possible debut.

Autodesk VRED Professional 2017 SP1
Volkswagen

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“The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture,” Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand, said.

“That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. By 2025 we want to be selling one million of these vehicles annually. We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen.”