Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Volkswagen Again Revisits Retro Microbus Concept With I.D. BUZZ Design

Photo Credit: Volkswagen AG

Automakers around for a long time are often presented with the opportunity to relive some proud moments. Production milestones, anniversaries of key dates or the continuation of a popular vehicle model name are moments to cerebrate past achievements often in a manner meant to connect a brand’s past and present. Using one of their more culturally significant designs, Volkswagen’s presence at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is anchored by a vintage Microbus charm loaded with their latest smart vehicle technology.

Photo Credit: Volkswagen AG

The latest glimpse at Volkswagen’s post-diesel focus on electrification as a manner of cleaner motoring, the I.D. BUZZ concept re-imagines the utility and personality belonging to the 1960s Volkswagen vans for a 21st century climate. Exterior design cues from the original Volkswagen Microbus is translated into modern times on a 194.6-inch (4.943-meter) long platform that is an extended version of the basis for the I.D. concept car introduced at the Paris Motor Show. Aside from its van shape, the I.D. BUZZ differentiates itself with a two-motor powertrain. Assembled to deliver all-wheel drive propulsion, the two electric motors of the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ combines for 369 horsepower. A 111-kWh battery is projected to allow the van to travel 270 miles (470 kilometers) based on United States fuel economy estimates.

Photo Credit: Volkswagen AG

Utilizing the van-like physique, the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ promotes practicality available through the electric vehicle design. The cabin is configured to seat up to eight occupants. In tradition to the popular camper variant of the original Microbus, the I.D. BUZZ’s third row seat can be converted to a bed while the second row seating transforms into tables. A Silver Birch wood floor lines the lower part of the vehicle’s cabin while a roof incorporating to two glass panels adds a natural feeling to the concept van. Ample Storage inside the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ Two luggage compartments.

In keeping with Volkswagen’s I.D. concept vehicle range’s ambitions, this latest concept exhibits the automaker’s full optimization of smart technology. Improving vehicle function along with passenger comfort, some of the connected gear employed on the electric concept design is automated driving applying laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors as well as cameras along with traffic data relayed to cloud-based communications.  The operator’s hands of the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ grips a touch-sensitive steering wheel and absorbs information through an augmented reality heads-up display system. A full suite of safety aids such as Blind Spot Monitor, the beam of LED headlamps and an eMirror system support the driver. Ambient lighting surrounds the occupants inside the car while comprehensive I.D. Box infotainment control can be integrated with Bluetooth-enabled portable devices.  

Photo Credit: Volkswagen AG

For those keeping count, this is the third time Volkswagen has rekindled the character of their famous Microbus in concept car form. For the 2001 auto show in Detroit, a Microbus Concept debuted and was almost a production reality car. Ten years later, the Bulli Concept revisited the Microbus styling as a fully electric vehicle.  Volkswagen can easily be forgiven for its desire to revisit what may be the most attractive, charismatic van designs ever produced.

While the I.D. BUZZ name seemingly resembling the professional moniker of a late 1980s or early 1990s rap star, Volkswagen is serious in a focus for electrified vehicles. By 2025, the German automaker wants fully electric powertrains to account for one million of their vehicles sold per year.  

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