VW factory in China producing an eSUV
In China, according to a number of media sources, VW has begun the production of prototypes presented last year as an electric SUV concept called ID. Roomzz. The seven-seater is apparently first set for launch on the Chinese market in 2021, presumably as VW ID.6.
In November 2019, Volkswagen itself already confirmed that the first phase of pre-production at the plant in Anting, China, has begun “with an ID specially designed for the Chinese market model of the Volkswagen brand.” The plant in Anting is operated in cooperation with joint venture partner SAIC and is the first plant from the German carmaking giant in China that is entirely focussed on electric cars. According to information available, series production was scheduled to start in October 2020.
Volkswagen has not yet revealed which model pre-series production has started. Now Wheelsjoint, among others, is claiming that the first China model based on the MEB platform is the production version of the ID. Roomzz that Group CEO Herbert Diess presented in April 2019. A photo has been published depicting the factory and a group of workers surrounding a vehicle shell topped by a sign with the words ‘Lounge SUV’. This is exactly what the ID. Roomzz should be – a large electric SUV with three rows of seats, variable seating arrangements and plenty of room for the passengers.
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The reports seem to concur that the name of the prototype in serial production will have the sales designation of ID.6. With its spacious interior, the ID.6 is supposed to stand out clearly from the Tiguan-like ID.4, if the five-meter concept ID. Roomzz is anything to go by. In terms of price, the ID.6 is assumed to be in the same playing field as the Tesla Model Y. Although the concept is almost as big as a VW Touareg, it is supposed to become significantly cheaper than the combustion engine flagship –probably also because of a simpler and more volume-oriented interior. WheelsJoint draws a parallel with the Atlas SUV sold in the USA, which is also as large as a Touareg but is several price classes below it.
In the case of the drive, the ID.6 should be located at the top end of the MEB options. It seems the model will initially be available only with four-wheel drive, the power ratings are 225 and 300 kW. As battery options are mentioned the 77 kWh (the largest option available in ID.3) and the maximum configuration with 111 kWh. This should allow ranges of 450 and 600 kilometres respectively. With the ID. Roomzz concept, VW indicated Level 4 autonomous driving functions and doors opening in opposite directions – in both cases it is unclear whether the production model will also have these features. The below-cited reports have assumed that the Chinese-built prototype will only have Level 3 autonomous functions.
It is also unclear when the ID.6 will be presented or could even be launched on the market. If the ID.3 is anything to go by, these time periods can be quite drawn out. WheelsJoint assumes that the model will be introduced in 2021. The sales start in China could take place in the same year, and in 2022, the ID.6 could be available in Europe and the USA.
wheelsjoint.com, drivetribe.com, cnbeta.com (in Chinese)
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