Are We Ever Getting a New Volkswagen Bus?

While Volkswagen isn’t an American automaker, many of its vehicles have become very iconic in American history. For example, the VW Beetle has not only been a popular and well-known car but it’s also become the subject of the long-running childhood game known as ‘Slug Bug’ or ‘Punch Buggy.’ It’s a similar story with the VW Bus, and while it’s been gone for a long time, the Volkswagen Bus is finally coming back.

A short history of the Volkswagen Bus

A Volkswagen ID. Buzz model with Nike and Blue Ribbon branding parked on a running track
A Volkswagen ID. Buzz model with Nike and Blue Ribbon branding | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

The story behind the VW Bus, or more specifically, the Microbus, is a long one. Volkswagen started making Microbus models in the late 1940s, but they really became popular in the 60s and 70s. Young Americans at the time, especially those who were involved in the hippie movement, loved the VW Bus. Not only that, but famous bands, such as The Grateful Dead, were huge fans of the Volkswagen Bus as well. 

Due to the popularity of the Volkswagen Bus during that time, the VW Bus itself became one of the many symbols of that period of American history. Volkswagen eventually stopped producing the Microbus, but the VW Bus’ popularity lived on. Not that long ago, Volkswagen announced that the Microbus was back. Perhaps to honor its hippie stereotype, the new Volkswagen Bus will be an EV.

The new VW Bus is still coming

Volkswagen has an upcoming lineup of EV cars that are all part of the ID. series. The new VW Bus is the latest entry in the electric ID. series. The official name of that concept bus is the I.D. Buzz, but here’s the catch. The I.D. Buzz, being a concept vehicle, premiered in 2017 at an auto show. Since it’s difficult to turn a concept car into an actual production car, some have speculated that the electric VW Bus has been canceled

Fortunately for fans of the VW Bus, that doesn’t seem to be the case. According to Car and Driver, the currently unnamed production model of the I.D. Buzz is still slated to start production in 2022, but that will be for Europeans. For Americans, the new Volkswagen Bus will arrive in 2023, and it’ll arrive in the 2024 model year.

On top of that, Volkswagen recently gave another update concerning the VW Bus. Volkswagen said that in the summer of 2021, it would start testing a production version of the VW Bus that’s equipped with semi-autonomous self-driving features. That being said, Volkswagen doesn’t expect those features to be available to customers until about 2025. However, this update does show that VW is serious about making the new Volkswagen Bus as high-tech as possible.

What the Volkswagen ID. Buzz may have

Since Volkswagen still hasn’t given the production version of the I.D. Buzz a name yet, its details are still pretty sparse. After all, a lot can change from concept to production. What almost definitely won’t change, however, is its looks. Since the new VW Bus is a throwback to its most famous version from the 60s and 70s, Volkswagen probably wants to keep that design intact.

Similarly, there may not be much of a size difference between the concept and the production versions. The I.D. Buzz, for instance, has about 162.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and unless Volkswagen redesigns the bus entirely, it’ll probably stay about the same. Another aspect that will probably remain the same is its range. The I.D. Buzz concept has a range of about 300 miles, and the production version will likely have a similar range. 

That being said, the new name for the Volkswagen bus will probably be quite boring. For example, the ID. Crozz was the name of the concept car that eventually became the Volkswagen ID.4. The new VW Bus will probably have a similar name once it’s officially released.

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