Remember the Microbus? Volkswagen certainly does, and has borrowed liberally from the wildly-popular classic for this, its latest all-electric and autonomous concept. The Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ follows the original I.D. Concept of last year with a far more flexible form-factor, complete with space inside for eight in a highly modular layout.
It’s built on the same modular electric drive kit, or MEB in VW terminology, as the I.D., though extended somewhat: the company describes it as MEB-XL. That puts battery, electric motors, and everything else in a sandwich under the floor, leaving space for two capacious trunks – front and rear – and all that cabin room. The current concept is AWD, but Volkswagen says it could just as easily make a rear-wheel drive I.D. BUZZ if the market wanted it.
As for the self-driving technology, that’s still a few more years out than even a production version of the I.D. BUZZ might be. Still, in VW’s vision the steering wheel retracts in – you press the center to switch between manual and autonomous modes – and then the front seats rotate 180-degrees into lounge-seating mode. At the same time, the center console between those seats slides back, converting into a combination table, tablet media player, and Bluetooth speaker system.