Return of the Microbus? Volkswagen unveils electric ‘hippie bus’

Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off its ID Buzz: a van the firm is billing as a spiritual successor to its iconic Microbus. But while the primary “hippie bus” was powered by a tiny four-cylinder motor driving the rear axle, the new a single operates completely on electric electricity.

Chad Kirchner, editor-in-chief EV Pulse, claims regardless of the retro seems to be and EV powertrain, the Buzz’s main target is practicality.

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“It really is created to be variety of a mainstream folks-hauler initially. Just with cues to engage in into that retro attractiveness of the Microbus,” Kirchner claimed.

PHOTO:The new Volkswagen ID Buzz electric van is displayed during its presentation in Hamburg, northern Germany, March 9, 2022. (John Macdougall/AFP via Getty Images)

Image:The new Volkswagen ID Excitement electrical van is exhibited during its presentation in Hamburg, northern Germany, March 9, 2022. (John Macdougall/AFP by means of Getty Visuals)

Volkswagen released the initial Microbus, the T1, in 1950. Above the upcoming handful of many years, the motor vehicle grew to become synonymous with the “counterculture” motion. Microbuses have been generally supplied shiny, psychedelic paint work opportunities, replete with flowers and peace symbols. Variety 2s are featured prominently on album addresses from Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys, and can conveniently be noticed in footage from Woodstock. Early Microbuses shared an engine with the VW Beetle of the era. The new Buzz, equally, shares a powertrain with another VW stablemate.

The Buzz sits on VW’s “MEB” electric powered architecture, which also underpins the brand’s electrical crossover, the ID4. The enterprise has not nonetheless introduced specifications for the American-marketplace Excitement, but did expose the European model will occur with a 201-horsepower electrical motor powering the rear wheels. As for electric powered array, Kirchner claims he is anticipating it to be shut to the ID4’s 268-mile determine. The Buzz is about five inches for a longer time than the ID4, and according to VW, the European version has 138 cubic toes of cargo location.

“If you want a very little a lot more room you’re heading to want the ID Excitement,” explained Kirchner.

Figures aside, Kirchner suggests car buyers’ fond reminiscences of common VW buses could prove to be the Buzz’s main offering place.

“There is absolutely a massive team of people out there who are nostalgic for the aged Microbus,” he additional.

Todd Olson is the co-founder of Buses By The Seashore, a auto club for Microbus fanatics. He states he to start with became fascinated in buses soon after attending a Grateful Useless live performance in 1992.

“That’s when it all designed feeling,” he instructed ABC Audio. “I saw all these Volkswagen vans, where individuals can dwell in them… so that began the bug.”

Olson says he’s now owned, restored, and bought more than fifty various Volkswagen buses, and says he is uncovered a lively fanatic local community in the approach.

“Potential buyers of Volkswagen [buses], they are counterculture people today, they’re a little distinctive,” he claims. “They dance to a unique conquer.”

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As for no matter whether the new Buzz can dance to that rhythm, Olson states his preliminary impressions are good.

“I believe it’s a really interesting strategy,” reported Olsen. “I’m energized to see the car.”

But he has concerns that the confined variety of an electric powered car or truck could set a damper on its enchantment.

PHOTO: The Microbus became a symbol of the couterculture movement of the '60s. (Micheal Dobuski/ABC News)

Picture: The Microbus turned a symbol of the couterculture movement of the ’60s. (Micheal Dobuski/ABC News)

“The entrepreneurs of those vans — they want to roll, they want to journey and abide by the Grateful Dead … stick to Phish,” stated Olson. “That pure-EV automobile sadly just won’t have the assortment but.”

The Excitement is set to go on sale in Europe afterwards this 12 months. It hits US dealerships in 2024. Olson claims regardless of his reservations, he still wishes to get it for a check travel.

“When the new a person hits the showroom flooring, we are absolutely likely to go give it a check out,” he reported.

Hear ABC’s Michelle Franzen report on VW’s new electric powered bus:

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