Last week in Hannover, Germany, Volkswagen unveiled the I.D. Buzz Cargo Concept during the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show.
The study is built on the MEB modular platform for electric vehicles and it’s based on the I.D. Buzz, having a slightly larger footprint and stylistic differences meant to make it more suitable for cargo hauling.
Its futuristic design and the fact that it’s equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving might trick some into thinking that it’s just a concept that may make it into production sometime in the future. However, that’s not the case, because the I.D. Buzz Cargo Concept is actually close to hitting the assembly line, AutoNews reports.
In the initial announcement, Volkswagen said it could hit the market as early as 2021, preceding the passenger model by one year. It will slot in the brand’s commercial vehicle lineup under the Crafter and above the slightly smaller Caddy and Caravelle.
Volkswagen has yet to announce whether the production version will maintain the same powertrain as the concept. The latter uses a 204 PS (201 hp / 150 kW) electric motor that drives the rear axle and a 48 kWh lithium-ion battery.
It’s capable of reaching a top speed electronically capped at 160 km/h (99 mph) and can be driven up to 550 km (342 miles) in between charging in the new WLTP cycle.
Volkswagen will probably drop the Level 4 autonomous driving from the production model, as most countries don’t allow this level of autonomy just yet, and, unlike the concept, feature traditional controls like a steering wheel, but clients should still expect some sort of a semi-autonomous system.