The revival of the minibus?Volkswagen announces electric “hippie bus”

Volkswagen pulled the rap from the new ID buzz.

Volkswagen has unwrapped its ID buzz: a van that the company claims as the spiritual successor to its iconic minibus, but the original “hippie bus” is a small four-cylinder engine behind the rear axle. Powered by, but the new one is fully powered.

Despite its retro look and EV powertrain, the editor-in-chief’s EV pulse, Chadkirchner, says Buzz’s main focus is on practicality.

“It was first designed as a kind of mainstream people carrier. It just has a clue to take advantage of the retro charm of the minibus,” Kirchner said.

Volkswagen introduced the first minibus T1 in 1950. In the decades that followed, the vehicle became synonymous with the “counterculture” movement. The minibus has a bright, psychedelic paint and is full of flowers and symbols of peace. It features type 2. It stands out on the album covers of Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys and is easy to find in Woodstock footage. Early minibuses shared the engine with the VW Beetle of the time. The new Buzz shares a powertrain with another VW Stablemate as well.

Buzz is built into VW’s “MEB” electrical architecture and also supports the brand’s electrical crossover, ID4. The company has not yet announced the specifications of the buzz in the American market, but revealed that the European model will be equipped with 201 horsepower. Electric motor that powers the rear wheels. When it comes to electrical range, Kirchner says he expects it to be close to the ID4’s 268 mile figure. The buzz is about 5 inches longer than ID4, and the European version is 138 cubic according to VW. Freight area feet.

“If you need a little more space, you’ll need an ID buzz,” Kirchner said.

Aside from the numbers, Kirchner states that the nostalgic memories of a car buyer’s classic VW bus could be Buzz’s main selling point.

“There are definitely a lot of people who miss the old minibus,” he added.

Todd Olson, co-founder of Bus by the Beach, a car club for minibus enthusiasts, says he was first interested in buses after attending the Grateful Dead concert in 1992.

“It’s when it all makes sense. I’ve seen all these Volkswagen Routs where people can live … and that’s where the bug started.”

Olson says he currently owns, restores and sells more than 50 Volkswagen baths, discovering a vibrant community of enthusiasts in the process.

“Volkswagen Buyers [buses], They are people of counterculture and are a little different, “he says. “They dance to different beats.”

When it comes to whether the new buzz can dance to that rhythm, Olson says his first impression is positive.

“I think it’s a very cool concept. I’m looking forward to seeing this car,” Olsen said.

However, he is concerned that the limited range of electric vehicles can put dampers on their appeal.

“Owners of these vans want to roll, travel and chase the Grateful Dead … chase the fish,” Olson said.

Buzz will be available in Europe later this year. It will hit US dealers in 2024. Olson says he wants to test drive it, despite his reservation.

“When something new hits the floor of the showroom, we’ll definitely try it,” he said.

Listen to ABC’s Michelle Franzen report on VW’s new electric bus:

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