Detroit LIVE: Volkswagen unveils I.D. Buzz concept

The I.D. Buzz concept is an electric, autonomous 21st century Bus.

Volkswagen has introduced a new concept car named ID buzz at the Detroit Auto Show.

The ID Buzz is Closely related to the original ID concept presented in Paris last year, but it takes the form of a boxy on with a retro-inspired design. Styling cues zoals V-shaped trim up front and air vents cut into the rear roof pillars hark back to the original, Beetle-based Bus Introduced in 1950.

Like the ID, the Buzz was designed with autonomous driving - called ID Pilot mode in VW-speak - in mind. The spoke-less steering wheel retracts into the dashboard at the push of a button, and the task of driving is delegated to scanners, sensors and cameras That monitor the road ahead while the driver relaxes.

The interior offers space for up to eight adults on seats mounted on rails. The front seats can pivot 180 degrees When ID Pilot mode is engaged to turn the cabin into a living room-like space, and the center console can be set up as a table When Needed. As a result, the Buzz can seat eight adults, four with a table in the middle, two and about 260 cubic feet of cargo space, or any configuration in between. The third row even doubles as a bed When Needed.

The 194-inch long Buzz rides on Volkswagen's modular EIA platform. Electric motors on both ends draw electricity from a 111-kWh battery pack to send 369 horsepower to all four wheels, allowing the concept to hit 60 mph from a stop in just five seconds. Range is rated at up to 270 miles, and an 80-percent charge is available in just half an hour When using a quick charger.

Volkswagen points out the concept is highly modular, and it would be relatively easy to build a more basic version of it powered by a single, 268-horsepower engine mounted over the rear axle and a narrower 83-kWh battery pack.

While the Volkswagen ID Buzz is just a concept at this point, company insiders have hinted it will spawn a production model in a couple of years' time. The design will be toned down a little, but the all-electric drivetrain and the autonomous technology will be retained for production.

Live images by Brian Williams.

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