Volkswagen ID.4: Sure thing
What could be more 2020 than an electric SUV?
WHAT could be more 2020 than an electric SUV, asks William Scholes.
By merging motoring's hottest trends in a family-friendly package and giving it a Volkswagen wrapper, the German giant ought to have a hit on its hands.
Called the ID.4, it will follow hot on the charging lead of the ID.3 hatchback, which is already in production and should reach its first customers in the summer.
The ID.4 is basically the same car as the ID.3 with different bodywork. It's a method the Volkswagen Group is already expert at, spinning various different models off the same tool kit of engines, gearboxes and platforms within and across its various brands.
Electric car architecture makes this even easier. The 'skateboard' underpinnings in which the battery and motors are housed mean different body styles can be grafted on with relative ease.
Here are some of the ID.4 highlights:
Without the need to package an engine and gearbox, it should be roomy inside the ID.4. At 4.26 metres long, it's shorter than a Tiguan. Volkswagen describes the interior space as "astonishingly ample".
Go for the biggest battery offered and you should be good for somewhere around 310 miles on a full charge. Who said anything about range anxiety?
Batteries come in 45kWh, 58kWh and 77kWh flavours. Motors range between 93kW and 150kW, or 125bhp and 200bhp in old money.
Volkswagen says ID.4 production will be carbon neutral "along the entire value chain".
VW is aiming at a starting price under €30,000 in Germany. You can have your ID.4 in 'Pure', 'Pro' and 'Pro S' varieties, depending on battery size.
The ID.4 will launch with rear-wheel-drive but four-wheel-drive will follow.
The ID.4 is capable of AC, three-phase current and DC charging. Find a 100kW charger and you can pump about 180 miles into your car's range in 30 minutes.
Engineering an electric car platform is an expensive business. Volkswagen calls its architecture the 'modular electric drive matrix' and is making it openly available to other makers. Ford, for example, has signed up to use the VW underpinnings.