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VW’s Hippie-Dippie Glamper Van Is Ready for the Next Woodstock

2023 volkswagen id buzz glamper van
VW’s Psychedelic Glamper Van Is a Nod to Its PastVolkswagen
  • VW Commercial Vehicles creates custom van for a music festival in the UK based on the ID. Buzz Cargo.

  • The Glamper Van features a built-in photo booth inside and will debut this weekend at PennFest 2023 in Buckinghamshire.

  • The passenger version of the ID. Buzz is headed stateside in 2024, but VW won't bring all the variants of the new EV to the US.


The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is closer to its hippie past than other recent VW models, with the Eurovan and the Routan managing to largely avoid the aesthetic associations with the classic Bus. But the Buzz can still benefit from psychedelic graphics to reinforce the resemblance, even if some vintage touches were certainly lost in the journey from concept to production vehicle.

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A new one-off custom van dubbed the Glamper Van, based on the commercial ID. Buzz Cargo, aims to bring back some of the themes of the ‘60s for a music festival in the UK. Scheduled to debut at PennFest 2023 in Buckinghamshire this weekend, the Glamper Van will feature a built-in photo booth inside, complete with props and interior lighting.

"Following the success of last year's Pamper Van, Volkswagen is pleased to once again be helping festival-goers celebrate in style with the new Glamper Van," said Laura Bignall, Brand and Performance Marketing Manager at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

2023 volkswagen id buzz glamper van
The Glamper Van is a one-off custom, of course, but the nostalgic appeal of the ID. Buzz will be quite central to its chances for sales success stateside.Volkswagen

The decor inside the Glamper Van is notably less psychedelic and features faux shrubbery and a colorful couch, somewhat dialing down expectations that could have materialized based on the van's exterior. One could say it is perhaps more disco funk than Yellow Submarine.

But we can already sense the demand for a ‘60s package on the ID. Buzz just ahead of the model's arrival stateside, including daisy-style wheels and faded vintage colors—items that have not been mentioned by VW in regards to the ID. Buzz so far. The Glamper Van's decidedly factory wheel choice is perhaps an early signal of VW's unease over catering to the past too much, in a manner analogous to the VW Beetle of 20 years ago that also tried to walk a fine line between retro looks and modern appeal.

Perhaps more so than testing the waters for ‘60s nostalgia, the ID. Buzz will inevitably gauge demand for premium electric MPVs when it arrives in 2024, as it will be the sole model in its segment stateside for quite some time. On the one hand, the ID. Buzz will have the whole segment to itself, one could say, but it will also land in a vehicle category that has seen demand rapidly dwindle over the past 20 years, to the point where there are just a handful of minivans available at all.

So unless VW is counting on the ‘60s vibe for generating nearly all ID. Buzz sales, the model will have to prove itself to a much wider audience—a marketing challenge that all other EV makers have steered clear of thus far. This concern, perhaps not far from the minds of VW product planners for the past years, is also likely why the ID. Buzz does not look more retro than it does, as the automaker has avoided fielding its modern Transporters in the US since the departure of the Eurovan some two decades ago.

Will the fact that the ID. Buzz is all-electric invite the greater EV audience to take it for a spin, at a time when seemingly everything is some kind of crossover?

Time will tell, but we would like to see VW take greater risks when launching retro-leaning vehicles.

Will the VW ID. Buzz be a commercial success stateside at launch, or is the electric MPV segment just too small of a niche at this point to see a significant rush of buyers? Let us know what you think.