Volkswagen is rejuvenating its classic camper van for the 21st century.
The original’s rattly, rear-mounted petrol engine and back-to-basics features will be upgraded for green electric motors and hi-tech electronic gadgets.
The metamorphosis comes with quirky detail including a brake pedal with “pause” on it an an accelerator with “play”.
The battery powered electric van, known as the ID Buzz, will go on sale in Europe, North America, and China in within five years.
The company will also build a cargo version of the Buzz, VW said.
Buzz reminiscent of the the classic camper van
It’s retro styling is reminiscent of the Microbus, the classic camper van built from the 1950s to the 1970s. But the new eight-seater ID Buzz is light years ahead in terms of hi-tech gadgetry.
It’s even been designed as a self-driver in preparation for new laws to enable fully autonomous road transport.
The Buzz’s two-tone split paintwork has a 50s feel, but the almost flat front end has a modern back-lit, oversized VW logo.
There are modern LED lights front and rear, a glowing strip that divides the paint contrast around the vehicle, and super large 22-inch alloy wheels.
With no bulky petrol engine and batteries stored under the floor the interior is spacious and very flexible.
The eight-seats can be switched from an MPV-style people carrier to a dining table arrangement – and the seats can be fully reclined.
Switch transforms classic camper to “self-drive” mode
At the flick of a switch the Buzz can be reverted to autonomous pilot mode. The steering wheel turns into touchscreen control panel and gives the driver and front-seat passengers the option to swivel 180 degrees to face passengers behind.
A Volkswagen spokesman said: ‘While the driver relaxes, laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors and cameras monitor other road users and the surroundings.”
The Buzz will be no slouch, accelerating from nought to 60mph in just five seconds, but top speed will be restricted to 99mph.
VW say range on a full charge will be almost 400 miles miles with 80 per cent of the battery replenished in just half an hour’s charge. The company plans to manufacture more than 30 all-electric models by 2025.
If you’re looking for camper van insurance, then the brokers at HIC can build a policy which is as snug as your motorhome.
Insurance policies cover a range of classic vehicles to ensure you’re fully covered whether you are motoring in the UK or overseas.