Tonke Kits The New VW ID.Buzz E-Van For Camping

Photo By: Tonke

While it doesn’t exactly have the familiar form factor of most modern overlanding rigs, there’s no denying that the original VW “Type 2” bus, or “Combi,” was one of the original go-most-anywhere vehicles for wanderers worldwide when it was at peak popularity in the 1960s and 1970s (see photo below). When equipped by outfitter Westfalia in the 1970s and ’80s, VW Vanagons and related models were some of the early retail overlanding machines, especially when equipped with the Syncro all-wheel-drive system.

Photo by Volkswagen

Now, decades after those loveably slow vans were discontinued, the VW bus is back in fully electrified and much faster form as the 300-plus horsepower Volkswagen “ID. Buzz.” Netherlands-based outfitter Tonke is working on producing kits to turn the Buzz into a top-shelf van camper. With such a conversion and some slight modifications to suspension and tires, the Buzz, with a range of about 250 miles on a charge, could also be made into a comfortable and stylish off-pavement base of operations.

Photo by Tonke

Called the Tonke Buzz Module, the $5,500 system is based on sliding drawers under an elevated bed and includes kitchen and storage options depending on what features buyers want. Once installed, the rear quarters include a 59 by 79-inch sleeping area, which should accommodate two friendly adults. The sliding drawers include a built-in “spacious compressor refrigerator” and storage space. A second kitchen slide-out module includes a sink and cooktop. The clever modules can slide backward to be used under the cover of the liftgate or forwards to be accessed within the van by folding the seats down. Tonke says the whole system is “completely removable,” and they offer the Buzz Module as a kit or already installed in the van for just over $ 61,000 USD, but of course, these are Euro-only kits – for the moment.

READ MORE: Gear Showcase: Gear Storage & Organization

The good news is that the ID.Buzz is U.S.-bound and will arrive as an XL-sized seven-passenger van instead of the five-passenger version initially offered in the EU. We would suspect that they will also get the bigger version sooner than later, which is physically longer by almost a foot than the base version. That, of course, makes it an even better camper candidate, although for now, the Buzz is a two-wheel drive only proposition. But the XL Buzz will arrive with a larger 88kWh battery than the 77kWh version in the EU base model, so the range could top 300 miles. Actual range estimates for the U.S. and E.U. have not been released. Volkswagen says the U.S. version will measure “roughly 195 inches long, 78 in. wide, and 75 in. tall.”

Photo by Tonke

Photo by Tonke

Photo by Tonke

Photo by Tonke

Of course, with the seats removed, there’s even more space, and customization opportunities will be interesting, to say the least. Best of all, Tonke says they will have a pop-top roof kit when the longer-wheelbase versions arrive on the EU market, which is expected to be later this year. We have a request into Tonke to see if there are plans to import kits to the U.S. [Ed: Tonke confirms they will bring the kits to the U.S.] It will be interesting to see what suspension modifications can be made to make the Buzz more off-road worthy, and we would hope VW takes the next logical step, and offers an electric AWD Syncro version at some point in the near future.

If you’re in the EU, you can get more information from Tonke on pricing and such here.

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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