The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is going to be a significant model just because it'll be the first time VW has actually brought a retro Microbus to production, and an electric one to boot. But that significance goes further, as the company announced it will be the basis for its first road-ready autonomous vehicles. Prototype testing begins this year, and the plan is to have autonomous models out in 2025 and to be used in a ride-sharing program like VW's MOIA program it operates in Hamburg and Hanover in Germany.
The announcement also comes with a rendering of the planned autonomous ID. Buzz. It looks extremely close to the concept cars, both passenger and commercial versions. The shape and window openings are all nearly the same. Of course, being an autonomous vehicle, it has various radar or LIDAR sensors tacked to the corners, including a prominent one on a roof bulge. It gives it the look of the bridge on the Enterprise. Another interesting change is the lack of two-tone paint or a trim line that dips down the nose to emulate classic VW vans. While it's still obviously retro, we're hoping that VW will still offer a two-tone color scheme. Finally, the lower grille looks simplified and more like that of the ID.4 and ID.3, rather than the myriad of little holes like the concepts.
We're also getting closer to finally seeing the production ID. Buzz. VW mentioned that the van will be revealed next year. The company had said this a few years ago, but we're glad to know that the pandemic hasn't derailed and delayed production plans.