Just over a week after the first anniversary of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, the embattled carmaker is presenting itself in a new light. The first product of Wolfsburg’s transformation process is the new Volkswagen I.D. concept car, which heralds a new generation of electric vehicles and is planned to go into production in 2020.
The pearly white I.D. features a very minimalist design that shows off a completely new design language for compact EVs, with a hexagonal motif showing up in the front bumper, headlights and C-pillar, while a black tailgate visually completes the panoramic roof. Blue highlights also abound, including the tyres.
Inside, the car carries the brand’s open space concept, with a touch interface controlling the car’s features. Despite being shorter than a Golf, the I.D. has Passat levels of interior space, thanks to the placement of the electric motor on the rear axle, plus a floor-mounted battery.
Drivers enter and start the car not with a conventional car key, but with their smartphones acting as a ‘digital key,’ with each driver assigned a Volkswagen ID that stores stores information such as seat and climate control settings, radio stations and playlists, sound system settings, contacts and navigation settings.
Big promises are being made about the new car – based on a new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform, the I.D. is claimed to be able to deliver a range of around 600 km with a 170 PS electric motor. Despite this, it’s said that the I.D. will have a price comparable to a Golf with equivalent power.
What’s more, 2025 will see the implementation of a new fully-autonomous I.D. Pilot mode, activated by touching the VW badge on the steering wheel. In this mode, the wheel retracts, giving an increased impression of space.