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Paris show: VW shares full ID details

ID please: The ID is capable of autonomous driving and at the touch of a button the steering wheel disappears into the dash.

Innovative and compact ID concept marks a new electric era for Volkswagen

Volkswagen logo29 Sep 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

VOLKSWAGEN has revealed full details of its Golf-sized all-electric ID concept that will make its production debut as the German giant’s first global EV offering in 2020 and kick off a whole range of electrified models in the coming years.

As reported earlier, the ID represents a massive shift in focus for the car-maker that has been struggling to shake negative perceptions following the diesel emissions cheating scandal that was uncovered a year ago.

While it is just a concept for now, VW says that it will definitely go into production in 2020, “at a price on a par with comparably powerful and well-equipped Golf,” and that it will help the company achieve its goal of reaching one million EV sales a year by 2025.

The ID is also future proof when it comes to driverless technology, with the car-maker confirming that it will be capable of fully autonomous driving in time for 2025 production.

Volkswagen is not modest about its ambitions for the ID, claiming in its media release that it “is as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago and the first Golf was 40 years ago – which went on to become two of the world’s most successful cars of all time”.

The company believes that the ID has the potential to ensure electric vehicles become the “everyday choice” in the future.

The ID is the first outing for VW’s new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) architecture that will form the basis for many more future EVs.

VW says the ID will offer “best possible” ride comfort, optimum use of space, high levels of safety and new levels of sustainability.

Some of this will be achieved thanks to the long wheelbase with short overhangs, a safe front end structure, a flat lithium-ion battery that is integrated in the floor ensuring a low centre of gravity and a multi-link rear axle with an integrated drive unit and decoupled subframe making for better dynamics and acoustics.

VW has created a new design language for compact electric vehicles with the ID.

Being an EV there is no need for cooling vents at the front, allowing designers to place more emphasis on the LED headlights, or “eyes”, that have a C-shaped signature and can react to other road users.

The eyes can “look” in the direction of the owner as they approach the car, look closed if all systems are shut down or perform a 360-degree light show when the vehicle is “woken up”.

The lighting on various panels inside and outside the car change depending on what is happening, so there is a different lighting theme if the car is being charged, driven, or is in autonomous mode.

Other unique design cues include large sculpted bumpers and a transparent illuminated VW logo up front.

The ID measures 4100mm long – 155mm shorter than a Golf – is 1800mm wide and 1530mm high, with a 2750mm wheelbase that is 130mm longer than the Golf. VW says the wheelbase is actually closer in length to the Passat.

Inside, there is a 10.0-inch Active Info Display, an augmented reality head-up display, a multi-fucntion steering wheel with six rounded corners and various other features such as gesture control.

The car-maker says there is up to 960 litres of boot space and seating for four. The rear seats can be folded up like cinema seats – or like Honda’s Magic Seats – to make room for larger items.

Simply by touching the VW logo on the steering wheel, the ‘ID Pilot’ system activates and the ID transforms into a fully autonomous vehicle.

Once the button is pushed, the electrically adjustable and retractable steering wheel folds away into the dash, enhancing what VW calls a ‘lounge feeling’ of the car’s ‘Open Space’ concept that is achieved thanks to the housing of the electric motor on the rear axle.

It can also find a car parking space all on its own, providing it is a multi-storey car park.

In terms of connectivity, VW says drivers in the future will be given their own ID, which is detectable via the user’s smartphone, and will store information such as personal preferences for air-con, seating positions, favourite radio stations and other data.

As previously reported, the ID will use an electric engine that will pump out 125kW and can accelerate from zero to 100kn/h in under eight seconds on the way to a top speed of 160km/h. VW says that subsequent production versions could be offered with more, or less, powerful engines.

It will have a driving range of between 400 and 600km, and while VW is yet to detail the charging system, it says the ID can be to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes.

VW says the ID has the centre of gravity “of a racing car” with a 48:52 per cent weight distribution.

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