It sounded like a premature April Fools' joke... and that's what it turned out to be.
After seemingly confirming that it would no longer be called Volkswagen (opens in new tab) in the U.S., VW admitted on Tuesday (March 30) that its apparent name switch to "Voltswagen of America" was a promotional April Fools gag gone too far, as the car maker tried to show its commitment to making more electrical vehicles going forward.
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The first such release from Volkswagen — again, not Voltswagen — is the ID Buzz, which will be available in two different specifications, there will be a rear-wheel drive only version of the ID Buzz, which offers around 200hp and an all-wheel drive version which produces 300hp.
The Buzz will arrive in the US in 2023 and in Europe in 2022.
We know, 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen. Similar to Volkswagen, but with a renewed focus on electric driving. Starting with our all-new, all-electric SUV the ID.4 - available today. #Voltswagen #ID4 pic.twitter.com/pKQKlZDCQ7March 30, 2021
That European Buzz is also going to be doing double duty, providing both passenger and commercial van options. VW is working on an entirely automated version of the commercial variant but it will arrive significantly later than the standard models. While EU models will come in either short or long-wheelbase versions the US model will only be available with a long wheelbase, according to Car and Driver (opens in new tab).
Like its fellow electric vehicles, the ID 3 and ID 4, the Buzz is built on Volkswagen’s MEB platform. This forms the basis of a range of cars from VW Group, including those from Audi, Skoda and Seat. The company plans to have transitioned entirely to electric vehicles by 2030 when it expects there to be around 300 electric models across its 12 brand names.
With the traditional EV layout of underfloor batteries, there’s a huge range of practical uses for the Buzz. Anyone with more than two kids is likely to be enormously tempted just for the school run. And with flexible seating and loads of space inside, these vehicles have endless customization options.
The Buzz first made an appearance as a concept in 2017 with the trademark flat front. There may be some cosmetic changes to the final version but the company has clearly put a lot of thought into making a van that captures the spirit of the original Bus. Those vehicles have become iconic since VW first introduced them in 1950.
The iconic van continued to be produced until 1979 when it was replaced by what is known as the T3, a vehicle that retained the practicality of the original but lost all the charm and personality. The ID Buzz is a much needed return to what made the original so special, that cute appeal that hides an enormously practical vehicle for families — and literally everyone on TikTok who is currently living in a Mercedes Sprinter.
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