In pictures: VW has given its classic camper van a futuristic, driverless revamp with the ID Buzz

 
Emma Haslett
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A snazzy new ID Buzz speeds through London
Same, but different: VW's ID Buzz concept updates the classic camper (Source: VW)

Volkswagen's classic camper van has been a symbol of hippie-dom for decades now - but flower power types may find it hard to love its sleek new update.

Forget snazzy new supercars - VW presented its ID Buzz concept at the Detroit Auto Show, which began yesterday, dubbing it a "multi-functional vehicle of a new era". The design is inspired by the iconic 1960s microbus, with a similar rounded silhouette.

The design of the all-electric vehicle, which VW is aiming to launch in 2020, according to Cnet, "forges links between the legendary origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future", it said.

Read more: Driverless cars are speeding up - and for some sectors, this is a problem

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

In the future, the minivan will be fully autonomous.

"A light press on the Volkswagen logo, and the electrically retractable steering wheel disappears into the cockpit. While the driver relaxes, laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors and cameras monitor other road users and the surroundings."

This is not a vehicle for speed freaks: it does 0-60mph in about five seconds, while the top speed is 99mph.

It features a customisable interior, with seats that can be moved, taken out, folded flat, or combined to create beds, while the seats at the front can be turned around (no need to be looking ahead if it's driverless).

The steering wheel disappears into the dashboard when the van is in autonomous mode - VW reckons it will be able to do up to 80mph on the motorway without a driver.

"It combines ample space for travel with a long electric driving range. A new feeling of freedom – with zero emissions. A new epoch of mobility," said VW. Quite.

Now read: Driverless cars have officially hit the UK's roads for the first time

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