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VW debuts retro electric Microbus with three-row seating

Volkswagen's ID. Buzz electric van will come with 3-row seating

Fans of Volkswagen’s old Microbus, or VW Bus, rejoiced when the brand brought back an electrified version of it, dubbed the ID. Buzz. Now those fans with growing families might be even happier —Fahrvergnügen indeed.

Volkswagen (VOW.DE) revealed the ID. Buzz will now come in a three-row variant — exclusively for North America — capitalizing on that in demand large SUV market. VW notes that the original Bus was a three-row van as well, and just like the old one, the ID. Buzz will feature a rear mounted motor, though here it will be electric, of course.

The larger 3-row ID. Buzz will be 10 inches longer than the standard European version and feature a more powerful 282 horsepower motor. VW says an all-wheel drive version is also available, which would be a dual-motor setup pumping out 330 horsepower. Both the rear- and dual-motor setups will come with a larger 91 kWh battery, compared to the 82 kWh battery in the European model.

Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz
Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz (Pras Subramanian)

“The zero-direct emission ID. Buzz is the spiritual reincarnation of the Microbus, reimagined for our electric future,” said Pablo Di Si, Volkswagen of America president and CEO, in a statement. “It is practical, sustainable, and packaged in an unmistakably fun way that is classic Volkswagen. With its launch, the Bus will once again become our brand hero in America.”

Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz
Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz (Pras Subramanian)

Design-wise, VW included “retro cues” in the ID. Buzz as a throwback to the original Bus, such as air “vents” on the rear D-pillar mimicking the original’s engine cooling slots, but with some enhancements for the present. The van’s VW logo is illuminated, and two-tone color schemes are available, featuring colors like Energetic Orange, Pomelo Yellow and Mahi Green, along with all-new colors like Cabana Blue, Metro Silver, and Indium Grey.

Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz
Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz (Pras Subramanian)

Inside the cabin, the ID. Buzz features a throwback wood-grain dash, a removable center console that doubles as a storage container or cooler, and a massive 67-inch sunroof which Volkswagen says is the largest in any VW car.

Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz
Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz (Pras Subramanian)

Bringing the bus into the future also means adding two power-sliding rear doors — a take on the original’s sliding windows — that VW says will offer easy access to the 3rd row. Inclusion of the 3rd row means the ID. Buzz can seat 7 passengers, or 6 if captains' chairs are optioned for the middle row.

Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz
Volkswagen debuts three-row ID. Buzz (Pras Subramanian)

Pricing was not announced for the three-row ID. Buzz, but Volkswagen says the EV van will go on sale in 2024. The van will be built in Germany, however, meaning it won’t qualify for federal EV tax credits in the U.S. — though there are ways to get around that with the commercial lease exemption.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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