Lonely Planet Writer

The camper van of the future has been unveiled, and it has a very retro look

Volkswagen has teased a futuristic concept of its iconic two-tone minibus. It’s called the I.D Buzz and it is very reminiscent of the iconic Volkswagen camper van, first launched in 1950. The 21st century model has zero-emissions, can seat up to eight people and has a raft of hi-tech features, including an “augmented reality” display panel.

(Volkswagen of America)
The ‘I.D. Buzz’ has a very retro feel. Image by: Volkswagen of America

A “slight push” of the steering wheel will activate self-driving mode, allowing the driver’s seat to swivel 180 degrees and join the party in the back. In addition, each driver’s preferences, like seat height and favourite radio stations, are linked to the cloud, and activate automatically when you get in.

Seats recline into makeshift beds.
Seats recline into makeshift beds. Image by Volkswagen of America

On to the Top Gear stuff; the Buzz can do 0-60 mph in five seconds and its maximum speed is capped at 99 mph to save battery life. The 11 kWh battery can be charged to 80% within half an hour, and the bus has a driving range of about 270 miles which is comparable to petrol and diesel cars. And, in true road trip style, the seats recline into makeshift beds, allowing several people to slip in a quiet snooze at any one time. The concept was shown off at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

(Volkswagen of America)
A slight push of the steering wheel will activate self-driving mode. Image by: Volkswagen of America

Dr Herbert Diess, from Volkswagen, said the company’s “big electric offensive” would begin in 2020 and promised a “completely new vehicle architecture”. He added: “that is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. “We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen.”

The id buzz are expected to be on the road by 2025.
The id buzz are expected to be on the road by 2025. Image by Volkswagen of America

“Buzz” is a word play on “bus” and the low-humming buzzing sounds the electric motors will make, apparently. The full self-driving mode is expected to be introduced in 2025.

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