It may just be the most famous vehicle that has ever graced the pavement. One look and everyone knows what it is, with its vintage appeal and funky vibe it gives off, making it one of the most legendary VW offerings in existence. We’re talking about the VW Bus, a staple on roadways across the nation, with its heyday dating back to the rebellious 1960s, offering drivers a way to make a statement during their travels. If you’re standing on the lot of your local VW dealership, you may find a few in the used car section just waiting to be driven; however, the dawning of a new era of the Bus is upon us, and it’s more impactful than you could have ever imagined. The latest Microbus, now known as the VW ID.Buzz, is set to launch for the 2024 model year, and to make this legendary vehicle even more special, it’s electric, so let’s see what’s in store for us as we get prepared to welcome this icon back into our driveways.
The Beginning of the Bus
Many know Volkswagen as being the maker of the popular Beetle, which also re-emerged as a more modern traveler in the late 1990s, catapulting the brand to immense popularity. Before the revitalization of the Beetle, however, the Microbus was turning heads all over the world. Designed by Dutch businessman Ben Pon, manufacturing began on the VW Bus in 1949, and throughout the decades, the allure of this quirky traveler just continued to grow. The VW Bus was not only a symbol of American rebellion in the ’60s and ’70s; it was an extremely functional vehicle with enough space to accommodate passengers and gear, as well as a utilitarian design, built to be more rugged than most. From groups of travelers hauling camping gear to nearby festivals to drivers who wanted to set themselves apart from the rest by painting murals on the side of their vans, the VW Bus was built for those who aspired to be unique.
Emanating peaceful vibes, the VW Bus was frequently seen with a peace sign replacing the standard VW logo, making it the “it” vehicle during the “Me Decade,” where people just wanted to express themselves. It had many nicknames around the world, including “Combi” due to the combined uses it offered, as well as “Splittie” due to its split windshield, but one thing remained consistent throughout the world… the Bus represented something to those who drove it. It represented freedom and individuality, offering drivers the chance to get together and travel to new places in a vehicle that could accommodate all of their needs.
Being that the Volkswagen brand had only unveiled two models at the time, the Beetle and the Bus, and they were quickly loved by many, it set the tone for how the rest of VW’s modern history would unfold. Pioneers in the industry, creating vehicles that other brands hadn’t even thought of, made Volkswagen the brand that they are today, and the proof is in their current and upcoming inventory.
A New Age of Expression
Slated to make its grand entrance in mid-2023, the VW ID.Buzz is not only a classic take on an icon; it’s also blazing the path for more vehicles like it in the industry. This all-electric bus will be equipped with powerful motors, anticipated to deliver 300 horsepower with its all-wheel drive model. Various charging options will be available, and with an expected driving range of over 300 miles, the new VW Bus proves that it’s ready to be your ultimate travel companion. After all, it’s in its roots to explore and be a part of your adventures, and the newest offering continues to uphold its legacy.
The ID.Buzz will be available in three configurations. Its long wheelbase configuration highly resembles a traditional van, with three rows of seating, while a smaller short-wheelbase configuration is expected to be offered in European markets. Perhaps its most interesting configuration, however, is its “ride-hailing” version, with the middle seats facing backward for maximum camaraderie during any journey. Its battery will be situated under the floor to enhance the spaciousness of its interior, continuing to make this vehicle a popular road tripper.
On top of its groovy vibes throughout its expansive cabin, the ID.Buzz is designed to handle more and features loads of configurable space to accommodate any journey, any activity, and anybody with ease. The biggest difference between this Bus and the Bus of the past is all of the tech that’s expected to make its way inside, including an impressive touchscreen, as well as a Head-Up Display, smartphone integration, a WiFi Hotspot, multiple charging ports, and more. It’s also to be expected that entertainment features will reign supreme throughout, with a rear-seat entertainment system offered to keep all passengers on board enjoying the ride in absolute comfort. You can also expect to find a number of safety and driver-assist features offered in the ID.Buzz to make any journey ultimately safer.
The VW Bus: Then & Now
Back in 1949, when the first VW Bus rolled off the assembly line, it offered 24 horsepower out of its gas engine, which resided in the trunk. Today, the ID.Buzz concept vehicle showcases stunning power, with 369 horsepower radiating from its electric motors. So much has changed for the VW Bus throughout the years, yet it may seem as though nothing has changed at all once you get a glimpse of this all-new VW offering. Continuing to showcase the same famous style exhibited by the original Bus, the ID.Buzz takes the classic style of the Bus and modernizes it perfectly.
You’ll also notice that the ID.Buzz seeks to cater to everyone’s riding needs with cutting-edge tech that is taking the industry by storm. From fully automated ID.Pilot technology to augmented reality, the latest Bus is expected to have it all. Plus, with its configurable seating, much like its predecessor, the Bus continues to offer drivers and passengers a better way to travel, wherever their destination leads them. Whether it’s taking the kids to soccer practice or riding with friends to a concert out of state, there’s a place for the ID.Buzz in your travels, and there always has been, making this vehicle a legend in driving history.
Although a lot has changed since the VW Bus first burst onto the scene in the ’50s, a lot has stayed the same. The desire to travel with others, the need for a spacious vehicle, and the feeling of expression continue to impact us, whether we’re aware of it or not. That’s what makes the ID.Buzz so monumental in the industry, as Volkswagen is giving the modern driver a timeless vehicle, accentuated with all of the must-have design elements, tech, and driving dynamics that we all desire. So, whether it’s running errands around town or embarking on an epic road trip across the country, there will always be a place for the VW Bus, and with the pending arrival of the ID.Buzz, it’s to be expected that it will leave a lasting impression on drivers all around the world.