Why VW’s North American ID. Buzz is bigger, faster and flashier than its European version

Volkswagen made its way onto California’s Huntington Beach this week to show off the North American version of its much-anticipated ID. Buzz electric microbus. It’ll be bigger than its Europe-bound brethren, with an additional row of seating, more horsepower, and some other unique, colorful options.

Video Transcript

ANDREW TARANTOLA: Volkswagen made its way onto California's Huntington Beach this week to show off the North American version of its much anticipated ID. Buzz electric Microbus. It'll be bigger than its Europe-bound brethren with an additional row of seating, more horsepower, and some other unique, colorful options. Let's take a quick look at what's set the groovy people movers up today apart from each other as well as their Summer of Love-era seniors.

The North American ID. Buzz, it should come as absolutely no surprise, is a fair bit bigger in the middle than the European version. Where the Euro spec buzz is outfitted with two rows of seating, the US version has three, with optional seating for six if you spring for the captain's chairs instead of benches. It's 10 inches longer than the Euro spec, both between its bumpers and between its axles. That makes it just about as broad as the VW Atlas, but nearly half a foot taller.

Compared to the original Microbus, which was barely longer than a 2019 Beetle and not even as wide, the new ID. Buzz is a mountain of a vehicle. Well, I guess compared to like a GMC Hummer EV, it'd did rate closer to around a decent-sized hill of a vehicle, the kind of vehicle that you don't mind driving through town or worrying about having to parallel park, even though its 20-inch standard rims are a full 4 inches larger in diameter than the original's.

That additional length houses a larger 91 kilowatt hour battery compared with the two-row model's 82 kilowatt hour pack, which in turn allows the North American version to produce 282 horsepower, up from 201 horsepower from the European model. And that's not even including the all-wheel drive variant that outputs 330 horses and 406 foot pounds of torque between its front and rear permanent magnet motors.

It'll even be a little quicker than the EU version with an electronically limited top speed of 99 miles an hour, just a tad bit faster than the two row's 90. Despite its butter dish lid-like shape, the ID. Buzz achieves a shockingly good drag coefficient of just 0.29. For comparison, the Polestar 2 boasts a drag coefficient of 0.24, while the hybrid Jeep Wrangler 4XE sits at a bad even for Jeep's coefficient of 0.45.

US customers will also have their pick of three exterior colors not found on the two row variant. Cabana blue, metro silver, and an inidium gray, in addition to the existing color schemes available for the Euro spec. Three screens you won't find in the OG Microbus include two in the dash, a 5.3-inch ID cockpit display that replaces the instrument cluster, and a 12.9-inch central infotainment display, as well as the 22-square-foot polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal-imbued sunroof.

When a low voltage current is applied to the PDLC layer, it becomes transparent. When the power is cut, so is the view. You'll also be hard pressed to find standard Apple Connect, IQ Drive driver assistance, wireless charging, eight USB-C ports, 110-volt outlet, and 12 volt charging in the old school vans as well. The North American ID. Buzz is slated to go on sale in 2024. Stay tuned to Engadget for all of your EV and transportation news.