VW ID. Buzz Pre-Orders Are Open, Electric Convertible Under Consideration
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz can be pre-ordered in Norway and Sweden today.
Published9 hours ago
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is now available for pre-order in Norway and Sweden, with production scheduled to begin in March and the first deliveries arriving by the end of June. Customers in those two countries do not need to put down a deposit to reserve a vehicle, which will be configured either as a passenger model with seating for 6 people or as a cargo van, according to Motor.es.
There has been some speculation about whether the company would alter the names used to identify the actual production vehicles to conform to the other models in the ID. lineup, but apparently the names used for the concept vehicles — ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo — have now been confirmed. The Cargo version will have a load capacity that is higher than the current VW Caddy Cargo, but less than the Transporter.
Both versions should be available to order in other countries later in 2022, with availability in the US expected in early 2023. The vans for North American customers will be manufactured at the company’s factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee alongside the ID.4 and (possibly) the ID.5.
Is an ID. Cabrio Coming?
Volkswagen has always had success selling convertible versions of its standard passenger cars, starting with the lowly Beetle and continuing through various drop-top versions of the Golf. Most recently, the svelte New Beetle convertible polished the idea to a high luster. They never sold in great numbers, but they were a “feel good” kind of car that did the company’s image no harm.
Earlier this year, the company wanted to know if the buying public might be interested in an electric convertible based on the ubiquitous MEB chassis. Apparently the feedback it got was positive. Last week, CEO Herbert Diess visited the company’s factory in Osnabrück, Germany, where he made the idea of an ID. Cabrio part of the conversation with employees. “The next option must of course be an electric convertible. There are considerations at Volkswagen, there are considerations at Audi,” Diess said, according to Automobilwoche. (That’s how you say Autoweek in German.)
The Osnabrück plant is not currently outfitted for MEB platform manufacturing, with most MEB vehicles being built in Zwickau. But Osnabrück does build the convertible version of the T-Roc and could produce the hardware for convertible versions of other models, including an ID. Buzz. The current Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback has been seen as a natural starting point for a cabriolet for a couple of years now, in the same way that the Golf platform spawned a convertible version known as the Cabrio.
In 2019, Volkswagen unveiled the ID. Buggy, a modern interpretation of the original Myers Manx based on the MEB platform. “The ID. Buggy demonstrates the broad spectrum of emission-free mobility that can be achieved with the MEB within the Volkswagen brand. But we want to open up the platform for third-party suppliers,” Ralf Brandstätter, head of the Volkswagen brand, told the press at the Geneva auto show that year.
Autoweek suggests the recently introduced ID.5 could also be a likely candidate for a cabriolet version. “The decision over a potential electric convertible in the next five years may well come down to just how easily VW will be able to adapt one of its existing MEB platform models — and how big of an audience it believes is out there for such a vehicle. At the moment VW is being pulled in many different segments when it comes to battery electric models and it has to aim new models at the most promising segments before it can afford to specialize in some narrower offerings,” Autoweek says.
“It’s also not lost on Wolfsburg that convertible offerings have retreated quite considerably over the past decade and that there is close to zero demand for them in China outside of some high end luxury models. These are just a couple of the reasons why there are currently so few affordable cabriolets on the market globally, and why they are appearing on crossovers more often.”
Is there a new Volkswagen Cabriolet or open-ar ID. Buzz in your future? Quite possibly, particularly if Herbert Diess remains at the helm in Wolfsburg, where Volkswagen has its headquarters.