While the electric revival of the Microbus is the star of Volkswagen’s ID sub-brand, we shouldn’t ignore the importance of the upcoming ID hatchback. On track to enter production next year, the Golf-sized hatchback boasts pretty impressive specs for an battery electric vehicle. It won’t be the fastest or most-exciting EV on the market, but VW claims it will be capable of 250 to 375 miles of electric range and offered at an attractive price.
It’s an EV for the masses and should serve as the tip of the spear for Volkswagen’s electric offensive, along with the Crozz crossover. However, the automaker says mass-market appeal doesn’t have to include mass-market styling. The production version of the ID Hatchback should look like the futuristic concept.
“The proportions, the design cues and the wheel size are the same as the concept. It looks like the show car,” VW’s design head, Klaus Bischoff, told Autocar. “We couldn’t do the camera-system rear-view mirrors for legal reasons, nor the electric door handles due to cost. But other than that, it’s pretty much the same.”
That’s a little difficult to believe, as the rear-drive electric’s wheels are absolutely massive and the suspension looks to have about 2 millimeters of travel.
While it’s impressive that Volkswagen wants to adhere to the concept’s styling, there is no way the consumer model will have the same ground clearance, wild interior (with fully collapsible steering wheel), or color-changing headlamps.
However, the point isn’t so much that the production vehicle will look identical to the concept. It’s that the new hatchback will sets the visual tone and prove that the ID fleet is entirely separate from Volkswagen’s main stable — which sounds like the opposite of what Mercedes-Benz is doing with its EQ cars.
“We had the unique chance to lead Volkswagen into a new age,” Bischoff explained. “Electric drive provides greater freedom for designers. We minimise the cooling holes; the axes move further apart and generate stunning proportions.”
So far as we know, the ID Hatchback will keep its projected range (though the EPA will rate it lower than the claimed maximum of 373 miles) and use a 163 horsepower motor capable of getting the car up to 60 mph in just under 8 seconds. Top speed will be electronically limited to 99 mph.
How many battery configurations Volkswagen plans to offer at launch is unknown. We know it’s supposed to have longer- and shorter-range configurations, but specs haven’t been announced. Production will take place at an existing factory, as the car uses existing unibody construction techniques and is comprised primarily of steel, aluminum, and magnesium — like any normal car.
[Images: Volkswagen Group]