The Kombi is returning- but you’ll wait until 2022

New Kombi.
New Kombi.

The Volkswagen confirms that the I.D. Buzz concept will go into production after positive reviews. Known as the Kombi, Microbus and the ‘Van ordinaire’ in France, the decision to add the I.D. Buzz to Volkswagen’s line-up was confirmed by Volkswagen chairman, Herbert Diess, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey in August.

“Since its appearance at the Detroit and Geneva auto shows earlier this year we have had a flood of correspondence asking us to build the I.D. Buzz,” said Diess. “We can now confirm it will go into production in 2022.”

The new Kombi will be an electric driven Microbus-inspired MPV offering seating for up to eight occupants and capable of supporting autonomous driving.

The new Volkswagen model is due to go on sale in key world markets, including North America, with the choice of two different wheelbases and differing interior configurations by the end of 2022 as part of a five-strong line-up of future electric powered production models that also include the I.D. Hatchback and I.D. Cross SUV.

The I.D. Buzz was first displayed at the Detroit motor show in January 2017 and Volkswagen has decided to launch a production version in Europe, the US and China following the strong and positive public reaction to it.

The styling of the I.D. Buzz evokes the legendary Volkswagen Type 2, first launched in 1949. However, the vehicle is built around the latest technology on Volkswagen’s new all-electric architecture, the MEB (Modularen Elektro Baukasten – Modular Electric Toolkit) structure as it is known internally at the German car maker.

The all-wheel-drive concept version is powered by two electric motors – one in the nose section, the other by the rear axle – providing a total output of 275kW and, in combination with an 111kWh lithium ion battery, allowing a range of over 600 km on the European test cycle.

A rear-wheel drive version of the modern-day Microbus featuring a single electric motor with 125kW and smaller capacity battery is also planned.

Diess has confirmed to Drive there are no current plans to produce the new MPV with conventional petrol or diesel engines, though he won’t be rule out the possibility of a fuel cell version running on hydrogen in the future.

To maximize interior space, the I.D. Buzz’s batteries are mounted within a flat floor, liberating space for up to eight occupants within three rows of seats. The concept features technology such as a touch sensitive steering wheel and an augmented-reality heads-up display, with cameras taking the place of rear-view mirrors.

Although Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed whether this tech will make it to production versions, Diess has confirmed the production version of the I.D. Buzz will be capable of supporting at least Level Two autonomous driving technology from the outset of sales.

The I.D. Buzz is part of Volkswagen Group’s ‘Together Strategy 2025’ plan, which involves the firm investing over $10 billion into the development more than 30 battery-powered models across its various brands, including Audi, Skoda and Seat, by 2025.