The new Volkswagen I.D. has made its global debut at the Paris motor show. Company bosses say the concept car marks the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen.
Envisioned as the first model of a completely new fleet of electric car, the I.D. is driven by an electric motor with an output of 125 kW that is claimed to deliver a range of 249 to 373 miles. 0 to 62 mph is said to take under 8 seconds while top speed is listed at 99 mph.
The vehicle marks a number of firsts for Volkswagen: Not only does it become the first small concept car to be based on the brand’s new “Modular Electric Drive Kit” (MEB) vehicle architecture, but it also becomes the first model to showcase Volkswagen’s new design language for compact electric cars.
“The electric powertrain gives our designers far greater freedom. We have shrunk the cooling grilles to a minimum, shifted the axles far outwards and created breathtaking proportions,” exclaims Volkswagen design boss, Klaus Bischoff.
Measuring 4100 mm long, 1800 mm wide and 1530 mm tall, the rear-wheel drive, five-door I.D. is 155 mm longer, 9 mm wider and 77 mm taller than the current seventh-generation Golf.
Volkswagen says the I.D. will eventually reach production in 2020, and at a price on a par with the Golf.
However, an automated driving version is also expected to hit the road from 2025 onwards. As a result, the I.D. concept has been future-proofed for autonomous driving.
For instance, to activate the fully automated mode – dubbed “I.D. Pilot” – the driver just has to touch the Volkswagen logo on the steering wheel. With this, the electrically adjustable and retractable steering wheel disappears into the dashpad to form a single entity flush with the dashboard. Externally, four laser scanners, which are embedded within the car’s roof, also become active when in fully automated driving mode.
The German carmaker has currently set a target of selling a million electric cars a year by 2025.