Volkswagen showed off four ID.Buzz commercial vehicle concepts at the Frankfurt, Germany, commercial-vehicle show this week.
Each van was made by a different specialist manufacturer and outfitted for tasks ranging from refrigeration to emergency response.
The concept vans, labeled as "near production," are intended for Europe, with Volkswagen planning to only bring the extended-wheelbase passenger version of the van to the U.S.
We're sure Volkswagen wasn't intending to hurt us so much by unveiling four adorable ID.Buzz concepts at the Frankfurt commercial-vehicle show. Yet, somehow it hurts to know that these cute and seemingly practical compact cargo vans exist and we won't get them. It's not Volkswagen's fault that Nissan stopped production of the NV200, or that Mercedes is dropping the Metris. Nor should we blame Volkswagen because Ram pulled the plug on the ProMaster City—or complain to Ford for flipping the off switch on the Transit Connect. Meanwhile, European commercial customers can look forward to a whole lineup of interesting, attractive, and practical ID.Buzz variants, so there's that.
The flex-cab concept, adapted by the Dutch company Snoeks, features a configurable five-seater layout for passenger transportation needs. The seats can be electronically folded, allowing the van to transition from a people carrier to a goods transporter. The paramedic version of the ID.Buzz, built by Bösenberg, has room for three people. The cargo area has been converted to be modular, able to store medical equipment and serve as an emergency work space. According to Volkswagen, the incorporated emergency light system runs on a different battery system from the rest of the car, meaning it will not hamper range in emergency situations.
The most visually changed ID.Buzz is the box-body version. Veth Automotive dropped a large rectangular box on the back of the Buzz, bringing cargo space from 138 to 212 cubic feet. The sides and back of the box can both be equipped with hinged doors, sliding doors, or roll-up shutters. Of course, sharing aerodynamic qualities with a shed will bring down range, but the box body is being shown off as a "last mile" vehicle.
The refrigerated ID.Buzz (top, center) is another "last mile" van, designed with city-center deliveries in mind. The 230V cooling system is mounted to roof with four 100-amp batteries and an inverter to convert from DC to AC voltage. The four-battery system is able to run independently of the van for six to eight hours. The refrigerated Buzz has a payload of 860 pounds, which converts to approximately 172 gallons of ice cream.
Volkswagen also showed off a service van for the appliance company Miele. The Miele-specific van is outfitted with shelving in the back to store tools and materiel for the company's customer service department. The center console of the van is equipped with a fold-out table to give the driver a workspace within the cabin.
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