After VW announced that the electric model Aero will also be built in Emden from 2023 in the course of its latest investment planning round, CEO Ralf Brandstätter has now revealed further details: The model will be launched as the Aero B and the Aero B Shooting Brake two years later than originally planned.
The Aero B Shooting Brake will be the first electric variant on the market, according to Brandstätter. “Noble and spacious like a Phaeton, plus a huge luggage compartment volume. And at 700 kilometres, it is a real range hero,” says Brandstätter on LinkedIn. Especially the Aero B Shooting Brake now on display is very reminiscent of the ID study Space Vizzion, which VW unveiled in November 2019 in the run-up to the LA Auto Show. At that time, there was talk of a series start in 2021, but now Volkswagen has announced the Aero B for 2023, meaning there is a delay of at least two years.
In return, Volkswagen increased the standard range. While for the ID. Space Vizzion a WLTP range of 590 kilometres was promised (with the MEB battery variant 82 kWh gross/77 kWh net), Brandstätter now mentions 700 kilometres. However, the VW CEO does not provide any further technical data on the model. It is therefore unclear whether Volkswagen simply wants to install a larger battery or increase the range by other means (Brandstätter mentions a “top cW value”).
The VW brand boss indicates that it is a combination of various factors: “The Aero B is our interpretation of sustainable premium,” says Brandstätter. “It scores in all dimensions of electrical performance: Thanks to our continuously improved MEB, it can be charged super-fast and offers a little bit more of everything: more space, more range, more acceleration and more top speed”. Brandstätter did not elaborate on his definition of “super-fast charging”. Up to now, MEB models charge with a maximum of 125 kW using the 77 kWh battery.
This leaves only the data from the study in 2019 when the German carmaking giant quoted a cW value of 0.24. At 4.96 meters, the station wagon breaks through the middle-class barrier (a Mercedes E-Class is about the same length) and exceeds the current Passat by a whole 19 centimetres. At the same time, the study’s load volume of 596 litres was less than the 650 litres of the Passat Variant.
The ID.4 is soon to be built in Emden, the current production site of the Passat. The Aero B as a sedan and the Shooting Brake are to follow in 2023 as announced last week when the investment plan was announced. “In doing so, we are making a clear commitment to the importance of the location and to future-proof employment,” said Brandstätter. In return, production of the Passat will have to give way to the Slovakian plant in Bratislava. In future, the Passat will be built there together with the Skoda Superb. The large Skoda model will also be relocated to Slovakia because the company needs the Czech plants for other models.
There is also a new statement from Volkswagen regarding the ID.4. The electric SUV is to remain the Wolfsburg-based company’s only “world-class car” for the time being. VW will not roll out the ID.5 coupé variant planned for 2021 worldwide for the time being. “It would still be too early for that. And currently there are no plans to do so,” VW’s E-mobility Board Member Thomas Ulbrich told the German publication Automobilwoche. “Worldwide, the basic model is coming first, and that is the ID.4.”
The ID.5, on the other hand, is to be built and sold only in Europe. As Automobilwoche speculates, the SUV coupe could be built in Zwickau parallel to the ID.3 and ID.4. The ID.4 will in future also be produced in Emden in addition to Zwickau. In addition, production of two ID.4 versions has started in China (one each from SAIC-VW and FAW-VW), and from 2022 the ID.4 will also be built in the USA at the Chattanooga plant.
For the production of the two Chinese versions of the ID.4, Volkswagen Group Components has started production of electric vehicle drives in China. Effective immediately, the Tianjin components plant will produce the APP 310 drive based on the modular electric vehicle drive system (MEB). It is used in the Volkswagen ID.4 model variants of the partners FAW (ID.4 Crozz) and SAIC (ID.4 X). Future MEB models of the Group for China will also be supplied locally. The APP 310 engine for the current and future MEB models in Europe and North America is manufactured by the component’s tail unit for electric drives in Kassel.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.