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Volkswagen ID electric concept unveiled

30th Sep 2016 8:00 am

The ID concept boasts a range of 400-600km; provides insight to the fully autonomous driving functions to be introduced in 2025.

Volkswagen has revealed its ID electric hatchback concept which, it is claimed, previews the carmaker’s first dedicated electric model due for production in 2020.

With an electric motor providing 170hp, the ID boasts a range of 400-600km, surpassing the 299km range of the facelifted Golf-e scheduled for global launch later this year. Little is being said about the charging system for the concept, although Volkswagen claims its battery can charge up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. Underpinning the concept is the carmaker’s newly-developed MEB platform, originally showcased on the Budd-e concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January.

The ID showcases individual design lineage, electric drive technology and modular platform architecture set to underpin Volkswagen’s electric car offensive. The concept provides an insight to the fully autonomous driving functions to be introduced on select models in 2025. Among its more intriguing features is a multi-function steering wheel that stows away within the dashboard when the driver switches to autonomous driving mode.

Styled at Volkswagen’s main design studio in Wolfsburg, Germany, the ID's highly contemporary appearance sets the tone for all its new electric cars. Key elements include a largely unadorned front-end, an ultra-short front overhang, a steeply rising bonnet line, a heavily-raked windscreen, a large wheel house with 20-inch wheels, prominent sill elements, cantilever-style rear doors, an extended roofline, a prominent rear spoiler element and a glass tailgate.

It also sports interactive LED headlamps that have been conceived to mimic the human eye. Not just that, with LED units concealed in various parts of the exterior, the overall visual character of the ID alters as per drive mode.

Inside, Volkswagen has exploited the packaging advantages inherent in pure electric drive-trains to provide the concept with an impressively roomy four-seat cabin. The levels of accommodation are similar to the current Passat. The concept also gets a comprehensive connectivity package that Volkswagen suggests will be part and parcel of all its upcoming electric models. While the ID provides seating for four on individual seats, the production version will offer a more conventional layout with space for up to five. Volkswagen is yet to reveal the nominal boot capacity, but says its new concept offers up to 980 litres of luggage space when the rear seats are folded down.

One of the stars of the 2016 Paris motor show, the ID is the first of up to five new electric models planned by Volkswagen, including an MPV similar to the earlier Budd-e concept, a crossover style SUV to be revealed as a concept in 2017, as well as a saloon and a sports car.

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