New Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo: retro electric van revealed

Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz Cargo is a retro-themed van, but has thoroughly modern electric running gear

Volkswagen's recent history of electric vans is patchy at best, but the VW ID. Buzz Cargo aims to change that. It's the first commercial vehicle to be based on the brand's MEB electric vehicle platform, and its bespoke running gear should help it to achieve class-leading range and economy figures.

That range figure has yet to be confirmed, but with a 77kWh battery and a dedicated electric platform, it should be able to outperform the Stellantis group's range of electric vans (Citroen e-Dispatch, Vauxhall Vivaro-e, etc). Those vans manage around 205 miles on a charge, and with the VW ID.3 hatchback offering up to 330 miles from its 77kWh battery, a range of around 250 miles is possible for the commercial vehicles newcomer.

In terms of size, the ID. Buzz Cargo slots into VW's commercial vehicle range between the Caddy Cargo and T6 Transporter. It's 4,712mm long, 1,985mm wide and 1,938mm tall, and there's 3.9 cubic metres of space in the cargo area. That's nearly a cubic metre more than in a Caddy Cargo, and VW says is big enough for two Euro pallets to fit inside.

The load area is accessed via either a top-hinged tailgate or barn-style doors at the rear, or there are single or twin sliding side doors. The tailgate has a window, and the bulkhead can be had with a window, as well as the option of through loading under the passenger seats. There's a maximum payload weight of 650kg and the load sill is 632mm high, while VW will offer a longer wheelbase ID. Buzz Cargo at a later date.

Up front, there will be the option of two or three-seat cab layouts, while features include a 5.4-inch digital cockpit display for the driver and a 10-inch infotainment screen. This will be available with online connectivity and wireless smartphone compatibility, too. Cabin storage includes an optional 'Buzz Box' with a five-litre storage drawer and a top cubby featuring an ice scraper and bottle opener. This locks into place between the front seats on two-seat models, and can be removed when necessary.

Power for the ID. Buzz Cargo comes from a 201bhp electric motor that drives the rear wheels. There's also 310Nm of torque from a standstill, so acceleration should be swift, and since the front wheels are free to steer, VW has created a tight turning circle of 11.1 metres for the newcomer.

It's the van's exterior styling that is one of the big talking points, though. The smooth shape is inspired by VW's Type 2 or 'Bulli' as it's known, and the smooth front end and slender headlights are a styling touch that's similar to other ID models. The van's aerodynamics have been honed to boost efficiency, with a figure of 0.29Cd quoted by VW.

The van revealed at launch features a two-tone white-over-blue colour scheme, which will be offered as an option on the ID. Buzz Cargo, with yellow, orange and green also being offered.

Prices for the ID. Buzz Cargo haven't been announced, but those along with final range and efficiency figures should be revealed closer to its on-sale date later this year. Expect to see the ID. Buzz Cargo hit VW Commercial Vehicle centres in the autumn.

Click here for our prototype review of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz MPV...

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