According to the German carmaker, the I.D. will be the first in a new generation of innovative electric vehicles, that will be launched starting from 2020.
The vehicle architecture – called Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) – was developed from scratch and is specific for an all-electric drivetrain.
The electric motor is positioned on the rear axle, while the high-voltage battery pack is integrated in the floor. The wheelbase is 2,750 mm long, and is combined with minimal overhangs.
This layout allowed to implement the so-called Open Space Concept, offering an interior space comparable to that of a Passat while keeping the exterior dimensions in line with a C-segment car- the I.D. is 155mm shorter than the current Golf.
In addition to the specific layout, Volkswagen also developed a new design DNA, which aims at making the I.D. instantly recognizable as a zero-emission vehicle.
The front end has no grille, so the identity is conveyed mostly through the deign of the headlights, which feature interactive LED elements with a C-shaped light signature.
They are complemented by the large, sculpted bumpers as well as the diffusers in “Anodized Blue”, as well as the illuminated Volkswagen logo.
Seen from the side, the I.D. showcases a clean surface treatment, with a sharp shoulder line that visually divides the upper and lower areas.
The clean, homogeneous look is also achieved through the use of tiny cameras instead of side mirrors and flush door handles.
There are no B-pillars: instead, the front and rear doors form a protective unit when closed. The rear doors open backwards with a swivel mechanism.
The long wheelbase is visually enhanced by the white and blue 20-inch alloy wheels with blue low rolling resistance tires.
At the rear, the trunk lid, contrasted in black, extends across the full width of the car. The large rear window is framed by vertical aerodynamic elements and at the base by the narrow horizontal LED rear lights.
The I.D.’s bumper looks as if the bumper were made of a single piece of aluminium or a translucent block of ice. This is mentioned by Volkswagen as a styling feature that will be shared among its future electric cars.
The blue rear diffuser adopts the same thin-shaped design of the front sr at the bottom of the car’s rear section is a blue diffuser. The look recalls the narrow strip of LED rear lights that wrap around to the flanks and the illuminated Volkswagen logo between them and the transition from the trunk lid to the panoramic roof, which is framed in gloss black.
The concept integrates advanced UI features like gesture control, Active Info Display and head-up display.
The conventional car key has been retired in the I.D. Instead, a smartphone will be used as a “Digital Key” to open the car and enable the vehicle to start.
The idea is to allow customers to have their “Volkswagen ID”, an individual profile that stores preferences such as as personal seat and climate control settings, favourite radio stations and play lists, settings of the sound system, contact data for friends and business partners and the navigation system configuration.
The I.D. is powered by a 125 kW / 170 PS electric motor that allows a range . I.D. is driven by an electric motor with an output of 125 kW and has a range between 400 and 600 km on a single battery charge.
The motor is integrated with the multi-link rear axle and combined with a decoupled subframe; this axle layout improves driving dynamics and acoustics.
Additional technical highlights include a very high front wheel steering angle and with a turning circle of just 9.9 m;
Fully autonomous by 2025
Volkswagen has announced its plans for launching the fully autonomous version of the I.D. by 2025. The car will be equipped with the “I.D. Pilot” mode.
The “I.D. Pilot” is activated by touching the VW logo on the steering wheel, which also makes the electrically adjustable and retractable steering wheel disappear into the dashpad to form a single entity flush with the dashboard, thus offering a true lounge feeling.
Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design, Volkswagen Brand, commented: “Before we first put pen to paper on the drawing board for the I.D. project, we debated the topic of ‘Mobility in the future’ at length. It is clear that the car of the future, and thus the mobile space, will be a place of communication more than ever before. The Open Space in the I.D. is just such a place.”
“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, as demonstrated by the I.D. – an icon of the future.”
“We had the unique opportunity to guide Volkswagen into a new era, and with the I.D we have taken this opportunity.”