One year after the emissions scandal, Volkswagen has set out its vision for an alternatively fuelled, autonomous future with the I.D. concept at the Paris Motor Show.
The five-door previews a compact battery-powered car that will be the first of a fleet of “highly innovative” EVs, due from 2020.
“I.D. can be charged wirelessly or via the mains; 80 per cent recharge takes 30 minutes”
It claims a range of 249-373 miles, and can be recharged wirelessly or via the mains; VW says an 80 per cent recharge takes 30 minutes.
The I.D. is the first VW engineered for fully autonomous driving, which bosses say will be available to buyers from 2025. By then they aim to be selling a million EVs a year globally.
The newcomer adopts a design language that will be exclusive to VWs future range of EVs. The nose is blanked off as the 168bhp electric motor doesn’t require the cooling of a conventional combustion engine.
New digital headlamps wrapped in LED daytime running lights look striking, as does the two-tone body, while the windscreen stretches to the rear to give a full-length panoramic roof. Slim tail-lights extend to the rear haunches, too. A production I.D. will be sold alongside the Golf, and it will share a similar footprint.
It’s underpinned by a new MEB modular electric drive architecture, developed solely for VW Group EVs.
All MEB cars will use lithium-ion batteries, sandwiched between the floor panels, so there’s no boot space sacrifice. It should bring handling benefits, too, as this keeps the centre of gravity low. The layout has also to rework the interior. Bosses say that while the I.D. is no larger than a Golf outside, losing the engine makes it as roomy as a Passat saloon inside.
VW’s executive director of design Klaus Bischoff confirmed that the production version of the I.D. will be the smallest electric car the brand will launch on the new MEB architecture.