2017 Detroit Auto Show: Volkswagen ID Buzz Concept Revealed — The Return Of The Microbus?

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The Volkswagen ID Buzz concept has been revealed at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. VW claims that the ID Buzz is the world's first fully autonomous multi-purpose vehicle. 

The Volkswagen ID Buzz features a one-box retro design which takes is inspired by the original VW Microbus which was launched in 1950, and this can be seen in its two-tone bodywork, along with the short front end with the large badge in the centre and the sliding doors.

The addition of the LED headlights, taillights, illuminated VW badge, the wraparound LED strip that runs across all the sides and the large 22-inch wheels modernise the design of the ID Buzz.

Underneath the retro skin, the new ID Buzz microbus concept is powered by two electric motors that draw power from a 111-kWh lithium-ion battery mounted in the floor. The electric motors are mounted on either end of the Buzz, with one in the short nose section and the other situated on the rear axle assembly.

The two motors produce a maximum of 201bhp each, but the combined output of the motors is limited to 369bhp. This is good enough for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.0 seconds. The top speed of the ID Buzz has been limited to 100mph (161.5km/h) to protect the battery charge.

The battery pack allows the ID Buzz concept to have a zero-emissions range of up to 372 miles (598.676 kilometres) on a single charge. The battery can be charged to 80 percent in 30 minutes which is enough for another 298 miles (479.58 kilometres) of range.

The Volkswagen ID Buzz rides on a lengthened version of VW's MED platform which was first seen on the ID concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

The ID Buzz is 4,941mm long, 1,976mm wide and 1,963mm tall and has a 3,300mm long wheelbase. The ID Buzz also features short overhangs of 829mm up front and 812mm at the rear.

The long wheelbase and short overhangs allow up to 8 people to sit inside the ID Buzz and Volkswagen has also designated two areas one at the front and the other at the rear for storage.

Inside, along with the multiple configurations available, the ID Buzz concept also features the latest in autonomous technology which allows the vehicle to drive itself in non-critical situations.

In such situations, the touch pad toting steering wheel can be decoupled from the steering gear via a newly developed steering column system.

In autonomous mode, laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, and front and area view cameras acquire information about the surroundings, while other traffic data is received via an internet-enabled data cloud to help the ID Buzz to drive itself.

Other tech inside the concept Volkswagen microbus include an augmented reality heads-up display and a removable tablet that acts the vehicle's infotainment system.

The production version of the ID Buzz is expected to be the figurehead of VW's Uber-rivalling MOIA ride-sharing brand which is expected to kick off at the start of the next decade.

Story first published: Monday, January 9, 2017, 15:47 [IST]
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