Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ventje turns VW’s ID Buzz into a really charming camper

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Volkswagen’s ID Buzz now has a customized camper build-out that’s simply as intelligent and charming as the electrical microbus. It’s known as eVentje, and it’s now accessible for basic sale in Europe.

Designed and bought by Ventje, a small however quickly rising firm primarily based within the Netherlands, the eVentje conversion is pretty much as good because it will get till VW lastly releases a California version of the ID Buzz — which continues to be just a few years away no less than. That lengthy delay since European gross sales started in 2022 has made room for a burgeoning aftermarket for ID Buzz camper merchandise, together with the superb and comparatively cheap Ququq camping box I beforehand reviewed.

I first tested a Ventje camper constructed on high of a VW Transporter T5 cargo van in 2022, earlier than living and working from an ID Buzz for just a few weeks in 2023. In 2024, I lastly acquired to check the union of the 2 for a weekend. And let me let you know, that is undoubtedly a case the place the entire is bigger than the sum of its components. The ID Buzz has all the time been a showstopper when driving previous onlookers — now, the present continues when the doorways open to disclose that splendidly adaptive Ventje inside.

The general design of the Ventje camper nonetheless depends on greater than 100 magnets to maintain all these picket surfaces aligned and locked in place. There’s nonetheless a kitchen accessible from in and out, a pop-top tent, and a multipurpose inside that converts from a lounge to a mattress to an expensive outdoors furnishings set in minutes. Solely now, issues have been refined all through with one huge addition: a folding desk and hidden stools to create an out of doors bar. Swoon.

The kitchen has seen a number of enhancements that present extra adaptable prep surfaces — all the time a problem in a small house — and smarter use of storage. Ventje additionally moved to not one however two induction cooktops because of the inclusion of a 2200W inverter and 2160Wh leisure battery that costs from the VW’s driving battery, a 350-watt photo voltaic panel, and a mini shore-power outlet positioned on the decrease bottom of the van.

The entire kitchen’s surfaces uncovered.

The extremely adaptable inside the place you may stand.

Ventje additionally makes it simpler to maintain all your individual gear powered with eight USB sockets (4x USB-A, 4x USB-C), a 12V automobile jack, 3x wi-fi charging surfaces, and 3x 230V AC sockets for anybody seeking to benefit from their firm’s hybrid workplace coverage. There are additionally extra lighting choices together with dimmable LED mild strips and a closable sunroof within the pop-top tent.

VW’s poorly designed software program nonetheless frustrates the in any other case distinctive driving expertise, which stays rattle-free even with all of Ventje’s customizations. One would anticipate VW to ultimately allow a tenting mode on the ID Buzz, a function already discovered on its present California collection campers. That will make heating and cooling the ID Buzz extra intuitive when parked and permit house owners to extra simply disable the inside movement alarm when locking all of the doorways at evening. 

The eVentje can sleep 4 however is at the moment freeway authorized for less than two folks. It’s constructed across the regular-wheelbase ID Buzz, not the long-wheelbase mannequin coming to Europe and the US (finally!) later this year. Nonetheless, my spouse and I didn’t need for more room, even with the canine coming alongside on the journey. 

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Constructing the outside furnishings set.

The eVentje, just like the ID Buzz, isn’t low cost, and shortly, in Europe, it should compete with VW’s new PHEV “T7” California camper occurring sale in June for what’s most likely about the identical value. However that mannequin lacks the retrofuturistic enchantment of the all-electric ID Buzz, and its inside is arguably much less versatile — and undoubtedly much less enjoyable — than Ventje’s heat customized design.

The modified eVentje ID Buzz begins at €95,000 (about $103,000) in Europe. An order positioned immediately will ship in 9 months to prospects within the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Ventje says that it’s additionally planning to broaden to the UK and US in time.

Importantly, Ventje is doing what VW hasn’t since first teasing the ID Buzz all the way back in 2017: ship a worthy all-electric successor to the enduring Sort 2 camper.

Pictures by Thomas Ricker / The Verge



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