Paris Motor Show 2016: What better way to undo the damage caused by cheating emissions than by unveiling an all-electric concept car?
The ID concept is the first of what VW calls a ‘fleet of electric cars’ and showcases full autonomy ahead of the technology’s release in the year 2025. The car itself will arrive in 2020, parallel to the Golf, as the German manufacturer’s first compact electric car.
Making the VW ID move is a 125kW (170PS) motor, which can manage 0-62mph in under eight seconds and as a top speed of 160km/h. Driving range is said to be between 400 and 600 kilometres, which would make it competitive with almost all current electric cars on the market.
Keeping the motor going is a flat lithium-ion battery that is integrated into the floor of the car (mirroring the Tesla Model S and Model X design), lowering the ID’s centre of gravity for improved handling and weight distribution.
Put the car in automated mode and the steering wheel disappears into the dashpad, giving the driver (or is that passenger?) more space to enjoy the journey and revel in an enhanced lounge feel.
Four lightweight seats can be found inside the cabin and have a folding function to save space as well as the ability to be lowered to floor level, further enhancing the ID’s usability.
Lighting, too, plays a big role in the VW ID. Its headlights look closed when it is parked and appear to wake up when the car is started by the driver. Not only that, exterior lights elsewhere turn blue when the car is driving itself, while moments of charging cause blue light panels to make look like it is breathing.
VW has dabbled in electric cars before, but the ID is something it is calling ‘as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago and the first golf was 40 years ago’, which is a very bold claim. This, it seems, is no exercise in posturing but rather a major shift in direction.
VW wants to sell a million electric vehicles a year by 2025 so it looks like Tesla will soon have some proper competition, although perhaps not in the looks department if the ID is anything to go by.