Could VW Bring Commercial Vans to U.S. Before Pickups?

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Volkswagen may not have a mid-size pickup truck ready for the U.S. yet, but it seems to be heading in that direction. However, VW does have one vehicle that's possibly closer to production: The recently revealed I.D. Buzz Cargo electric van concept that debuted at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany. The I.D. Buzz bears a striking resemblance to earlier versions of the So Cal-inspired surf vans from the 1960s and '70s.

The concept van is the result of a partnership between VW's automobile and commercial divisions with the idea that it can be configured to accommodate specific company and driver needs to achieve anywhere between 200 and 340 miles of range. The I.D. Buzz has photo cells on the roof to extend range, a payload capacity of 1,760 pounds and a wheelbase of 130 inches. Not coincidently, those are solid numbers for a mid-size pickup truck, which could be the next iteration off the same platform.

This futuristic all-wheel-drive transporter features tons of high-tech convenience features to provide several levels of autonomous driving modes, quick charging for the vehicle itself and several docking stations for onboard tool storage and charging. VW implied it could build the electric van by 2021; the concept seems to have energized both dealers and commercial van fans. Entering the U.S. commercial vehicle market with a cargo van before branching out to pickups — emulating Mercedes-Benz' strategy — wouldn't be a bad tactic for VW.

If VW cannot modify its existing global Amarok pickup platform to accommodate U.S. crash test standards, create something off the full-size Atlas SUV platform or come up with a completely new vehicle with Ford, the I.D. Buzz Cargo van could be the German automaker's entr‚e into the growing mid-size pickup truck class. Only time will tell.

Manufacturer images

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