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Pebble Beach 2017: The VW van is back — but this time it's electric

Barely in time for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, Volkswagen has announced it will bring back the most iconic vehicle of the 1960s.

The VW van will return sometime in the next two years, as the I.D. Buzz. But this time around, it’s not a four-cylinder, water-cooled gas burner. The new van will be an all-electric vehicle driven by batteries.

Using the occasion of Monterey Car Week, Volkswagen operatives rolled a prototype of their electrifying van around famed 17 Mile Drive and offered car journalists, gathered at Pebble Beach to cover the upcoming Concours D’Elegance, a peek at the bubble-shaped people mover.

VW says the new all-wheel-drive machine will be able to transport eight passengers and get up to 270 miles of all-battery range.

The company also says the Buzz will be outfitted with a variety of new technology, including “a retractable steering wheel that senses the driver’s intentions” as well as “headlights and exterior lighting that can provide communication with pedestrians based on its I.D. Pilot autonomous driving mode.”

The company also says the van will feature “ambient lighting inside and out.”

In other words, just as it was in the ’60s, if this van’s a’rockin,’ don’t bother knockin.’

charles.fleming@latimes.com

@misterfleming

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