Check out the latest Life on Cars column!

Check out the latest Life on Cars column!

by David Simister (February 2022)

IT WON’T matter how much of your clobber VW’s new load-lugger can swallow, how well it handles or how long it takes to charge up. The new ID-Buzz doesn’t have to worry about any of that, because it’s ‘gramtastic. 

As in it’ll work a treat on Instagram which – and forgive me if I’m about to make myself sound about 400 years old – is a social media app where people upload pictures of things, and themselves in front of or enjoying said things, for your online approval. I’ve got an Instagram account which is full of Morris Minors and Jaguar Mk2s that I’ve seen at classic car shows, but they’ll never be ‘gramtastic because they have to compete with selfies of models posing next to Bugatti Chirons. Unless your car is extraordinarily fast, rare or has Kylie Jenner standing next to it, forget it. 

Unless, of course, you buy a VW ID-Buzz. You’d think this is off to a bad start because it’s been hawked around motor shows since 2017 and is therefore a million years old in Instagram terms, but in fact it’s perfect for people living their best life. This is largely because VW’s commercial vehicles division has made no secret of the fact that it’s basically tried to reimagine the T1 Bulli of the late 1940s – the basis of the much-vaunted VW camper van – in all-electric form. Not only are the proportions all but identical, but it’s even gone for the same hippie-friendly two-tone paint job too. In fact, I reckon it’s only modern pedestrian safety legislation that’s stopped them mounting the spare wheel up front. Far out, man! 

It's worth pointing out that as it’s equipped with a 150kW electric motor that sends all its oomph instantaneously to the rear wheels, and it’s limited by electronic trickery to 90mph, it should be a damn sight quicker off the line than the old VW campers, and with an 11-metre turning circle it should feel considerably more nimble too, but that won’t matter one jot to the ‘grammers. 

It's irrelevant too that you’ll be able to order it in five-seater form, making it a theoretical competitor to Citroën’s new e-Berlingo and Ford’s Tourneo Connect, only draped in far prettier clothing. Nope, I’ll know the ID-Buzz has truly arrived when someone orders the van version, kits it out with antique furniture they found in a charity shop and some hastily knocked-up carpentry, and pronounces it their #vanlife project. Not until I see an 18-year-old couple with hairdos straight off the set of Hollyoaks using one for a life-affirming tour of all of the UK’s micropubs, funded ostensibly by Instagram product placement but more likely their parents’ bank accounts, will I know that the ID-Buzz has truly established itself. I cannot think of a single car that’s better conceived for garnering ‘gram likes. 

Right now the final pre-production versions are on a fact-finding tour of Europe ahead of the model being officially launched later this year. Let VW know you’re interested by popping into your nearest dealer – or better yet, drop ‘em a like on their Instagram account. 

David Simister is the editor of Classic Car Weekly

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