Ever since the concept made its debut in Detroit four years ago, we've been anxiously awaiting the production version of the VW ID.Buzz electric minivan. We're getting closer to that moment, as evidenced by these spy photos that show what seems to be an ID.Buzz test mule. It may look like a VW Transporter commercial van at first glance, but closer examination reveals its true nature.
The first sign that this is not, in fact, a Transporter is the placard on the back where a license plate would go. It reads "elektrofahrzeug" which translates as electric vehicle. Also unusual are the very large fender flares added to the wheel arches. They imply that the ID.Buzz will have a wider track and stance than the Transporter.
Then there's the nose that, while very close to the real Transporter, has been shortened. The tail has also been shortened. This matches up more with the proportions of the ID.Buzz concept. It also helps eliminate the possibility this is an evolution of the ABT eTransporter that still had a front-mounted powertrain. Finally, this prototype has side skirts that suggest a low floor, likely carrying the batteries for the van, which you don't find on the Transporter.
Based on these photos, we can infer that the production ID.Buzz will be a tad shorter in length and a bit wider than the Transporter. For reference, the Transporter is sized between the small Ford Transit Connect and large Ford Transit. In Europe, it would compete directly with the Transit Custom. As such, it should be comparably sized to the current minivan crop including the Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna, among others.
It's expected to be revealed next year and go into production that year. That would likely make it a 2023 model at the earliest. It will be built on the MEB platform shared with the ID.3 and ID.4. We would expect it to be offered with the 201-horsepower single-motor, rear-drive powertrain as standard, and likely get the 302-horsepower, dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain as an option.