As a compact SUV, Volkswagen’s fully electric ID.4 is catering to what is currently the world’s largest market segment. This is supposed to take the electric car out of its niche, whereas the ID.3 mostly targeted European markets. Prices for the ID.4 1st start at 49,950 euros, while cheaper basic models are to follow in 2021.
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The ID.4 is 4.58 meter long ID.4 and holds a 77 kWh (net) battery and a 150 kW electric motor in the rear. While the 1st Edition of the ID.3 was reserved exclusively for pre-orderers (from May 2019), the special edition of the ID.4 can be ordered by any customer, since a single special model simplifies the start of production. Strictly speaking, there are two special models: VW is also offering the ID.4 1st Max for 59,950 euros, which is supposed to stand out with more extensive equipment such as Matrik LED headlights at the front and 3D LED taillights at the rear.
After the ID.4 1st, which is to be delivered this year, VW plans to increase the number of variants from 2021. The 1st relies exclusively on the 77-kWh battery but a variant with the 52-kWh battery will be added in early 2021. For this, VW has so far only quoted a price of under 37,000 euros.
In 2021 the electric SUV will also come with different power levels. The ID.4 Pure with a 52 kWh battery produces 109 kW, whereas the Pure performance model offers 125 kW. The ID.4 Pro will reach 128 kW, the Pro Performance (like the 1st) will sport 150 kW. Depending on the version, the torque is between 220 and 310 Nm. Regardless of the power output, the top speed of the ID.4 is limited to 160 kph.
What an ID.4 Pro or Pro Performance will cost next year has not yet been revealed. However, these are likely to be lower than the prices of the 1st Edition, which is lavishly equipped with 20- or 21-inch wheels, heated front seats and steering wheel, a rearview camera, ambient lighting and numerous assistance systems. The Max also features Progressive Steering and DCC adaptive suspension.
The range of the ID.4 is between 360 and 520 kilometres according to WLTP. The maximum range should be possible with the Pro model with the larger battery rather than the ID.4 1st Edition. The minimum value of 360 kilometres should apply to the Pure Performance version.
The maximum charging capacity of the 52 kWh battery is 100 kW, the 77 kWh model can be charged with direct current with a maximum of 125 kW, which is MEB standard. However, VW’s announcement does not indicate whether Volkswagen will adopt a similar surcharge policy to Škoda for quick charging: with the Enyaq, even the model with the 77 kWh battery can only charge at 50 kW ex-works, with quick charging at 125 kW an extra 500 euros. With 125 kW, the ID.4 should be able to recharge electricity for 320 kilometres in 30 minutes with WLTP consumption.
For charging the battery, which weighs up to 493 kilograms, VW refers to the company’s own ‘We Charge’ service, according to VW, “a complete package for the convenient, networked and sustainable charging of e-cars”. An offer of free charging that was announced just days ago by Volkswagen North America and the VW subsidiary Electrify America for ID.4 drivers in the US does not seem to be planned for Europe.
Higher air resistance than a Tesla Model Y
There are not a lot of design surprises for the ID.4, unlike the numerous, only slightly camouflaged prototypes of the ID.3. The headlights and taillights with the respective continuous LED band will be the German carmaker’s new electric brand face. The ID.4 has classic SUV proportions from a side point of view, with the length of the front hood from the A-pillar onwards almost reminiscent of a combustion engine model. However, this is partly due to the long wheelbase and the resulting space in the interior, as the front overhang is short. Long, smooth surfaces also help with the aerodynamics. With its massive, upright front, the ID.4 is certainly not the most aerodynamic SUV, but for the design, the CW value of 0.28 is within the range. A Tesla Model Y comes to 0.23 in optimal trim.
With a wheelbase of 2.77 metres, VW describes an interior that is as spacious as those in the “next higher class”, just like the ID.3. Together with the large door openings, the bright interior and the panoramic glass roof, Volkswagen says that the occupants should “automatically feel comfortable onboard”. Three child seats should next to each other fit on the rear seat.
The trunk has a capacity of 543 litres in accordance with VDA standards and the cargo area can be increased to 1,575 litres by folding down the rear seats. A foot gesture opens the tailgate of the 1st Max electrically. There is also a luggage net, a net partition and an adjustable loading floor.
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Up to 1,200 kilograms towing capacity
The cockpit also follows the current VW design line and is strongly reminiscent of the ID.3. The multimedia system is operated via a ten (ID.4 1st) or twelve (ID.4 1st Max) inch touch screen or with the voice control ‘Hello ID’. In contrast to the ID.3 1st, the first ID.4 units will already have “full functionality”, as eMobility CEO Thomas Ulbrich emphasised last week. This concerns the Augmented Reality Head-up Display, which in the case of the ID.3 first had to be activated in the workshop with a software update.
Another difference to the ID.3 is that the ID.4 is fitted with a trailer coupling with a towing capacity of up to 1,200 kilograms (braked) on a 12 per cent incline, this is still 1,000 kilograms. Making use of the roof rails, the ID.4 “can be used flexibly for almost any leisure activity,” says VW.
The ID.4 offers an acoustic parking aid for the assistance systems ex-works. The two special models also include Lane Assist lane-keeping assistant, Front Assist emergency brake assistant including cornering brake function and evasive manoeuvre support as well as the ACC ‘stop & go’ distance control system as part of the standard equipment. The ID.4 1st Max also includes additional systems: Travel Assist controls the distance to the vehicle in front and also keeps the car in the middle of the lane. To maintain this function, the driver only needs to touch the capacitive steering wheel slightly.
Deliveries are scheduled to start before the end of the year. VW can rely on numerous pre-produced copies: Series production has been running in Zwickau since August 2020. At the world premiere of the ID.4, there was no sign of any possible four-wheel-drive models, presumably called ID.4X. The MEB platform is at least prepared to accept a front engine with a power of up to 75 kW that would increase the system power to 225 kW.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
Update 24 September 2020: While in ID. 4 1st models are still available in Volkswagen’s native Germany, all of the models earmarked for the USA are already sold out a day later after sales began with prices starting at 43,995 dollars. The ID.4 Pro is scheduled for delivery in the USA from mid-2021 and will be available there at prices starting at 39,995 dollars. In Germany, the ID.4 Pro und ID.4 Pro Performance are already available to order due to environmental bonus ramifications, however, production for these variants has not started yet in Zwickau.