Volkswagen will start producing the first member of its I.D.-badged family of electric vehicles in 100 weeks. The company marked the occasion by releasing an initial batch of specifications.
We know two things right off the bat: the I.D. will ride on Volkswagen’s modular MEB platform and it’s not coming to the United States. We also know the design will change little as the I.D. makes the transition from a concept car (pictured) to a production model. It will usher in the form language that will characterize every subsequent electric Volkswagen.
“We had the unique chance to lead Volkswagen into a new age. Electric drive provides greater freedom for designers. We minimize the cooling holes; the axles move further apart and generate stunning proportions,” Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s head of design, told British magazine Autocar.
Power will come from a rear-mounted electric motor programmed to make 168 horsepower. Basic models will offer up to 250 miles of range, while more expensive variants will stretch that figure to 373 miles thanks to a bigger lithium-ion battery pack. Note Volkswagen obtained both statistics using the European way of calculating range, which is hugely optimistic.
Linking the I.D. to a quick charger will give the battery an 80-percent charge in just 30 minutes. Volkswagen could benefit from the 800-volt charging technology Porsche is developing for its upcoming Mission E.
Placing the motor in the back allowed engineers to give the I.D. a tight turning radius, a real boon in big cities and tight parking garages. The hatchback will also be able to drive itself when the right conditions are met.
Volkswagen will begin producing the I.D. — a name the production model might not retain — in November of 2019. Sales will begin the following year at what the firm calls “an attractive price.”