Volkswagen has teased a return of the microbus for some time, and today the 2023 ID.Buzz made its global debut.

The ID.Buzz utilizes VW’s new Modular Electric Drive (MED) Kit. This will serve as the foundation for both the ID.Buzz passenger and cargo versions; these models will see introduction in the European market in the third quarter of this year. North America will receive a version of the ID.Buzz with a longer wheelbase, scheduled to debut sometime in 2023 and go on sale in 2024.

The first European versions of the vehicle will utilize an 82 kWh battery pack, supplying the rear motor with enough power to produce 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph and other performance figures, including range, are yet to be confirmed; however, VW noted that additional batteries and power output levels are expected in 2023.

The exterior design incorporates minimal overhangs, which allow for more usable space in a relatively-compact package. The standard passenger model measures 185.5-inches long, 78.1-inches wide and 76.3-inches tall with a wheelbase of 117.6-inches. Due to its compact dimensions, VW boasts an “unusually” small turning radius for a vehicle of the ID.Buzz’s class: 36.4-feet.

Other design cues harken back to the T1 and T2 microbuses of old, including the available two-tone paint options; “candy white” lacquer covers the upper parts of the vehicle along the roof and hood. It’s said the ID.Buzz will launch with seven different colors and four two-tone variants. Other throwbacks in the design language include the silver bar running across the front bumper, spearheaded by the iconic VW badge-- said to be much larger on the ID.Buzz than other current Volkswagens. LED lights are situated on all four corners; the horizontal taillights are connected via a thin light bar, a first for production VWs.

The minimalist “grille-ing” in the front is reminiscent of the air-cooled, rear engine buses of the 50’s and 60’s; speaking of the rear, the tailgate opens up to allow for easier loading and unloading. To aid in this endeavor is an optional height-adjustable trunk floor, which creates a level cargo surface. Total cargo space measures 137.7 cubic feet.

Rear occupants can enter the ID.Buzz through two sliding doors; cargo models will be fitted with a single sliding door, and a second sliding door will be made available as an option. The ID.Buzz will launch with five seats, and VW claims a six-seat configuration will become available on the standard wheelbase variant; a seven-seater will be available with the extended wheelbase. Complete or split 40:60 seats will allow for the aforementioned cargo space.

The driver is fed vehicle information by the 10-inch Digital Cockpit display. On standard models, the infotainment display is also 10-inches. A 12-inch screen can be optioned out; it includes VW’s navigation system. Underneath the center screen is a row of control switches and digital buttons which operate vehicle systems, such as HVAC, driving profiles, parking functions, and driver assists. Those assist features include standard Front Assist, Lane Assist and Dynamic Road Sign Display. Optional systems include Adaptive Cruise Control, Area View, and Side, Travel, Emergency Park, and Light assists.

Internal materials incorporate sustainable, leather-free materials. For example, the steering wheel cover is made of a leather-like polyurethane. Recycled materials are used to manufacture the seat covers, floor covering and roof liner, and Seaqual yarn is used for various fabric components. Seaqual uses 10 percent collected ocean plastic and 90 percent recycled PET bottles. Both new ID.Buzz models will use organically-based vehicle paint and forgo the usage of cobalt in the battery. Speaking of the powertrain, VW’s sustainability plans include a plant that recycles the high-voltage batteries nearing the end of their usage. At this plant, batteries can be refurbished for a second use. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles give a guarantee of eight years or 100,000 miles-- whichever comes first-- on the ID.Buzz battery.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to cover about Volkswagen’s return to the microbus. We’re excited to learn more about the 2023 Volkswagen ID.Buzz, and we’re more excited to see its insertion into the North American market. You can bet we’ll have it all here on MotorWeek!