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Volkswagen confirms production plans for all-electric I.D Buzz MPV

Published 23 August 2017

Volkswagen has confirmed the production of its first, driverless, electric van-based MPV. The concept – called the I.D Buzz – will reach UK showrooms in 2022 and be capable of autonomous driving, while its electric powertrain will be capable of covering almost 400 miles on a single charge. 

There are no details about pricing for the I.D Buzz, but it will be a key part of Volkswagen's electric push, with the German manufacturer pledging to sell one million electric vehicles by 2025.

The all-wheel drive I.D Buzz will be powered by two electric motors - one at the front and another at the back - with a combined 374PS. This means it will be capable of covering 0-62mph in a Golf GTI beating five seconds. A 111kWh lithium-ion battery, mounted into the floor of the vehicle can be recharged from zero to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes, while the maximum range from a single charge will be 372 miles. 

The tech behind the driverless I.D. Pilot system reads like something from a science fiction thriller, with the van's in-built computer using laser scanners, ultrasound sensors, cameras and radar to guide its way on the motorway and around busy city centres. The I.D Buzz will also automatically download the latest traffic data to avoid congestion and delays. 

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The driver will be able to take control with a simple touch of the steering wheel, which will rise up from the dashboard. A head-up display will also show speed limits, 3D navigation commands and battery status.

Inside the I.D Buzz demonstrates what the next-gen Caravelle could look like, with six rail mounted seats that can be moved or taken out of the van completely. The additional front two seats will swivel round to face the rear passengers when the van is in driverless mode. A removable tablet computer will allow the occupants to adjust the air con or watch the latest films, via a wireless connection to the infotainment system. 

Obviously, the I.D Buzz is still very much in the development stage, but it's worth noting that Volkswagen is investing heavily in electric and driverless technology as it looks to put the bad PR of the diesel Emissions Scandal behind it. 

Volkswagen has already confirmed the eCrafter for late-2017 and it's possible that some of the tech showcased in this prototype could make its way into an all-electric version of the Transporter T7. 

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