Volkswagen has premiered the latest member of its ID family, the ID.4 SUV, joining the range a year after the debut of the ID.3 EV hatchback, and utilising the same modular electric drive matrix (MEB) architecture.

The ID.4 debuts with a rear axle-mounted drive motor that produces 204 PS – the same as that from the ID.3 hatchback at its launch – from a battery pack that can store up to 77 kWh for a range of 520 km on the WLTP test cycle. This will propel the ID.4 from 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds, and onwards to a top speed of 160 km/h, and the electric SUV’s 210 mm of ground clearance enables it to handle ‘gentle off-road terrain’.

This version will be joined by another variant that adds a front-axle motor with 102 PS and 140 Nm of torque, for a total system output of 306 PS, according to earlier reports. Charging the ID.4 can be done at a rate of up to 125 kW at a DC fast-charging station, which will supply the electric SUV’s battery with 320 km of range in approximately 30 minutes, says Volkswagen.

The ID.4 supports both AC and DC charging, and its 11 kW onboard charger replenishes the battery at rate of 53 km of range per hour, and will fully recharge the ID.4 in 7.5 hours from a 240 V AC home or public outlet, reports The Verge.

This will be offered by the We Charge connected charging package in Europe, which is supported by the IONITY high-power charging network in Europe. In America, Volkswagen is offering three years’ free charging through the Electrify America charging network.

First seen in development vehicle form late last year, the ID.4 measures 4,592 mm long, 1,852 mm wide and 1,629 mm tall with a 2,765 mm wheelbase, as revealed in an earlier Chinese government filing, and its exterior design offers a drag coefficient of 0.28.

Lighting equipment is comprised of LED units for the headlamps and tail lamps in the base version, while the top variant gets IQ.Light interactive matrix LED units with swivelling lens modules and an intelligently-controlled main beam. The headlamps are complemented at the rear end with new three-dimensional LED tail lamps, while rolling stock is comprised of wheels measuring up to 21 inches in diameter.

Inside, the electric SUV boasts 543 litres of luggage capacity with the rear seat backrests in place, or up to 1,575 litres when stowed, and the interior room offered in the ID.4 is comparable with conventional SUVs in the larger size category, says Volkswagen.

Operation of the ID.4 beyond its primary drive controls are based around two displays, including a 12-inch touchscreen as well as ‘Hello ID’ natural voice control. An augmented-reality head-up display is optional, which can project navigation prompts on the windscreen on the prescribed lane as viewed by the driver, and the ID.Light strip at the base of the windscreen offers further prominent visual prompts.

The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first global electric model, which will be manufactured in Zwickau, Germany, in Anting, China and in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 2021 will be the first full year of production at the Zwickau facility, from which 300,000 MEB-based models are expected to roll out. Production has begun at the Anting, China plant, and the Chattanooga, Tennessee facility will follow in 2022.

The United States market will see the ID.4 priced from $40,000 (RM166,660) before the US federal government’s $7,500 (RM31,248) tax credit for EVs, which drops the price to $32,500 (RM135,412). This stands to be reduced even further when Chattanooga production commences, and the ID.4 is planned for a price of around $27,500 (RM114,579) after the federal tax credit.