Volkswagen’s Film Reveals Stress-Testing Only Seen in Spy Photos

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is a new EV minivan. Most people who drove the Volkswagen Samba Bus might find some of its features quite familiar because of its inspiration from the Bullie van. The Buzz comes as part of Volkswagen’s ID series lineup. The German auto giant recently released a documentary highlighting the EV’s stress-testing procedures you’d only see in spy photos. 

Volkswagen is set to launch a longer wheelbase version in America in 2024, sending ripples among loyalists who can’t wait to test the newly electrified version of the Samba Bus. While ID.7 shares some crucial components with the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 crossover SUV, Volkswagen’s film unveils some of its stand-alone features and behind-the-scenes development process.

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz documentary

A white and green 2022 Volkswagen ID. Buzz parked on a well let street at night.
2022 Volkswagen ID. Buzz | Getty Images

Volkswagen recently released a video showing what went into creating the new ID. Buzz. The forty-minute documentary takes us through the nitty-gritty of the Buzz’s development, from the early days of the Billie van and the 2001 concept car to the final masterpiece. The entire process was kept secret until the car’s unveiling.

Volkswagen has been producing vans for many years, specifically the Samba Bus, which was the first generation van featuring skylight windows and a clothed sunroof. It’s also known as a Deluxe Microbus. In the short film, Volkswagen engineers confirmed that they leveraged much of that accumulated experience and extensive knowledge in van manufacturing to create the Buzz multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

With that in mind, one of the primary goals was to make the new EV minivan as efficient as possible. The team behind the development process achieved that by redesigning the model’s structure, resulting in a 0.285 drag coefficient, which is impressive for a microbus. Much of that is owed to low friction components and a combination of smooth underbody panels and an efficient wheel design. 

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz documentary of aspects typically reserved for spy photos

You’ll be privileged to watch the Volkswagen ID. Buzz documentary because it covers stress-testing procedures you’d only see in spy or teaser images. The engineers tested the EV in Italy, where they created a negative pressure zone inside the car’s cabin to attract dust, detaching several panels to identify gaps in its structure. They patched those vulnerabilities and used the results for further improvements. 

The engineers also went to Sweden, a country nestled near the Arctic Circle with temperatures ranging from negative 22 degrees Fahrenheit and negative 33 degrees Fahrenheit. As highlighted on Car Buzz, such conditions are perfect for cold-weather testing since cold weather can limit an EV’s range by freezing up many of its critical components. The film also shows Volkswagen staff assessing the vehicle’s body panels for ice and debris following the test.

Another top-secret testing regimen the documentary covers is an insider look into the vehicle’s in-built heating system. The Volkswagen employees took the car inside a cold room to test the heater’s performance in defrosting the iced-up outside mirrors after the engineers cooled them to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The target time was three minutes, and as you guessed, the car passed the test. 

Here’s what we know about the Volkswagen ID. Buzz thus far

Volkswagen provides insights into the features and specs of its new ID.7 microbus. We know that the Samba-Bus-inspired Buzz shares the same MEB platform as the ID.4 compact SUV. They both come with a rear-mounted permanent-magnet motor that cranks out 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. 

With Volkswagen’s advanced “plug $ charge” technology, shoppers can effortlessly charge the vehicle up to 170 kW. Its bidirectional charging system also allows them to integrate the car into their home energy systems. Volkswagen claims the car charges from 5% to 80% within half an hour, eight minutes less than the 2021 VW ID. 4 crossover. 

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz also comes with ample interior space, enough to accommodate five passengers and 1,121 liters of cargo storage. Typically, cold-weather testing is one of the last evaluation stages. As the manufacturer confirms, the EV might launch in Europe this autumn, and some customers in selected countries can start placing their advanced orders in May. 

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