The Volkswagen Kombi is an icon of Philippine motoring. During a time when Volkswagen was one of the largest automakers in our country, one of the most common vehicles plying our roads was the Kombi. But alas, times and environmental challenges have changed, and so here is the modern-day successor to the Kombi we all know and love. Say hello to the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, which is an electric Kombi for the future.
Two versions will be available-a passenger variant and a cargo variant. Regardless of which is chosen, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz combines modern aesthetics that are already seen in the brand’s EVs such as the ID.4 crossover SUV, along with retro cues from the iconic Kombi. Most noticeable of this is the large VW badge upfront, which is really almost as big as a dinner plate if we’re being honest. There are also standard-fit LED headlights with an LED strip that’s connected to the badge in the middle, and below it is a mesh pattern for the lower grille, most likely for cooling the batteries and electric motors.
As a homage to the original T1 Kombi, the ID.Buzz has short front and rear overhangs. Since the wheels are pushed out as far as possible, there’s loads of space inside the vehicle. In addition, since the electric motors are mounted at the rear–thus making this van rear-wheel drive (RWD), the front wheels have a lot of room to turn. As a result, this 4.7-meter long van has the turning circle of a compact Volkswagen Golf. And then at the rear, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz has an interesting taillight design, and this is connected by a black trim piece that emphasizes its width.
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz will also be available in a long-wheelbase three-row version, and this is what the North American market will only get.
Moving towards the interior of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, there are plenty of interesting and quirky design cues that are complemented by bright colors, at least in the passenger version. The interior is also vegan-friendly, like the seats, doors, and steering wheel, which are trinmed with a polyurethane material that Volkswagen claims has been designed to feel like leather. Seaqual yarn is also used in the roof lining, seat covers, and floor coverings, and this is made out of recycled PET bottles.
As expected, there are plenty of tech features inside, such as the 10-inch digital gauges and 10-inch infotainment system, which unfortunately also houses a touch slider for the climate controls. USB-C ports are also abundant on all two rows (three-rows for the upcoming long-wheelbase version), though wireless charging is also available.
On the other hand, the cargo panel van does not have rear seats, but it’s interesting that most of the passenger model’s creature comforts are still retained. Operators can also opt for a partition that separates the driver’s cabin and the cargo area. Lastly, both models also have a removable front center console that enables flexibility in terms of storage.
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz will come with a rear-mounted electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and 310 Nm of torque. Its top speed is at just 145 kph, and it has an 82 kWh battery pack, which is pretty big for a 4.7-meter long vehicle, though its range has not yet been announced.
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz will go on sale first in Europe in the third quarter of 2022, while North America, which will only get the soon-to-be-released long-wheelbase version, won’t arrive until 2024.