The most futuristic of VW’s I.D. electric concepts is ... a sedan
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Sedans are so yesterday, right? Which is why it’s somewhat ironic that the fourth, and most futuristic, of Volkswagen’s I.D. electric vehicle concepts, is … a sedan. Built off VW Group’s all-new, all-electric MEB vehicle architecture, the VW I.D. Vizzion concept imagines a 2030 family four-door with Level 5 autonomous capability, artificial intelligence, and a holographic user interface. Steering wheel? Pedals? Nope. This Volkswagen is designed to do it all for you. Just get in and ride.
Although all the I.D. Vizzion’s future-world stuff is great auto show eye-candy, of more immediate interest are the mechanical bits underneath, as a version of this car—with steering wheel and pedals and Level 4 autonomous capability—goes into production in 2022. It will be one of 15 MEB-based vehicles VW Group will have on sale by 2025.
The I.D. Vizzion concept features two e-motors, one mounted up front and driving the front wheels, and one mounted at the rear and driving the rear wheels. The rear motor develops 201 hp, the front 101 hp, giving a total system output of 302 hp, and a chassis with agile, rear-biased handling characteristics. The computer driving it in 2030 won’t care, of course, but until then we humans will be in charge, so that’s welcome news.
Powering the e-motors is a 111 kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted in the floor. Volkswagen claims a 413-mile driving range on the European test cycle; on America’s tougher EPA test cycle, expect it to be rated closer to 300 miles.
The MEB architecture, which will underpin the Golf-sized VW I.D. to be launched next year, as well as the forthcoming I.D. Crozz SUV and the I.D. Buzz minivan, is designed to be very dimensionally flexible. The I.D. Vizzion is a big car, 203.3 inches long overall, 76.7 inches wide, and 59.3 inches tall—wider and taller than a long-wheelbase Phaeton, and under an inch shorter overall. The wheelbase is an expansive 122.0 inches, about an inch shy of that of a long-wheelbase Audi A8.
Though positioned as the flagship I.D. model, the production version of the Vizzion is not a high priority for the U.S. market. Instead, VW’s North American operation will focus on launching the I.D. Crozz in 2020 and the I.D. Buzz in 2022, by which time the company will have rolled out a $2 billion investment 2,800 fast charging stations in key markets across the country.