The Volkswagen ID.4 Is VW’s First Fully EV SUV

Volkswagen continues its EV charge, this time targeting the SUV segment. 

It seems Volkswagen is on a roll with its new ID all-electric range of EVs. After the successful premiere of its ID.3 hatchback, the German auto giant has followed-up with the launch of the ID.4 EV SUV. 

Volkswagen’s first EV SUV aims to capitalise on the continually growing SUV market, perhaps in the hopes of converting some piston-powered SUV buyers into electric converts. Built on the VAG group’s MEB all-electric platform, the ID.4 is dimensionally similar to, and takes aim at, cars like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and even Volkswagen’s own Tiguan. 

That said, compared to the angular Tiguan, the ID.4 adopts a rounder aesthetic. The front end design of VW’s zero-emissions SUV is much like what is seen on the ID.3 hatchback. Its rounded face is highlighted by a sharply designed front bumper and equally sharp LED headlights. Completing the look up front is an illuminated light bar with the new VW logo at its centre, that runs right across the front of the grille-less front end. 

Down the side, sporty 21 inch GTI-esque alloys and a contrasting silver top-half works well with the black roof and black body cladding to spice up the look of the rather sedate side profile. The rear meanwhile follows on from the current VW design language first seen on the Golf Mk8. Although with its slim LED taillights with integrated light bar, the rear ID.4 does bear striking resemblance to the rear of the Renault Koleos. 

Impressively for a mid-sized SUV, the drag coefficient of the ID.4 is only 0.28. This low figure is perhaps down to the fact that this new crossover isn’t particularly high riding, despite its claimed 21 cm of ground clearance.

This aerodynamic efficiency though should come in handy as in terms of performance. That is because the powertrain of the ID.4 is definitely not even in the same league Tesla Model X to say the least. The only form of propulsion for this EV SUV comes in the form of a single 150 kW electric motor mounted at the rear axle. Fed by a 77 kWh battery pack, the ID.4 is capable of an adequate 0 – 100 km/h time of 8.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 160 km/h. 

All is not sad news in the powertrain department though as the trade-off for performance comes in the form of an impressive range. WLTP has claimed that the new ID.4 will travel 520 km on a single charge. 10 km more than claimed range of the other VAG EV SUV, the Skoda Enyak IV. What more is that VW claims that a 30 minute recharge at a 125 kW DC rapid charging station can yield an extra 320 km of range for this EV SUV. 

Charging port EV charger

Moving onto the interior of the ID.4, it would appear that Volkswagen is continuing with the precedent set by the ID.3 hatchback and has decided to remove nearly all physical switchgear from the cabin. Two screens for the digital instrument cluster and central infotainment display are the only prominent features of this sparse, yet ergonomic interior. Naturally all the usual connectivity and active safety features are standard, but being a German product the options list is where the good stuff lies. 

One notable feature that makes it debut on the ID.4 will be the ID light, which according to Volkswagen is a ‘a narrow light strip under the windscreen’ that supposedly intuitively supports drivers. Further research though has pointed to this being fancy interior ambient lighting that changes colour for example when the vehicle’s drive system is active or when the doors lock or unlock. What is perhaps a more useful feature would be the augmented reality head-up display that is able to project arrows indicating directions onto the road ahead, so driver’s may never miss a turn again. 

Going on sale in 2021, this new ID.4 SUV has already been tipped to be a big seller when it hits the showrooms in the near future. Labelled by VW as ‘the first global electric car’ in its range, perhaps this EV SUV may also make its way to Malaysia too. 

PRESS RELEASE: Presenting the ID.4, which is celebrating its digital world premiere. This is Volkswagen’s first fully electrically driven SUV generating zero local emissions and is produced with a carbon-neutral balance. It will be launching into the world’s largest market segment, the compact SUV class.

“The ID.4 is an emotional all-rounder which will impress many customers with its efficient electric drive, generous amount of space, modern assist systems and powerful design,” says Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen brand. “As the first global electric car, this model will roll out our modular electric drive matrix platform that has been developed specifically for electric mobility the world over. Volkswagen is thus once again demonstrating its leading role in innovation, technology and quality on the high-volume market.”

SUVs are very popular with an increasing number of customers. They are the most popular vehicle segment in the USA and China as they offer good levels of visibility, safety and comfort. In Europe and Germany market shares are also continuously on the up and especially compact models are booming. With the ID.4, Volkswagen is offering a fully electrically driven SUV for the very first time. It offers the space, flexibility and all benefits customers appreciate about SUVs.

The ID.4 is an all-round talent that can be driven in a sporty, yet also easy and comfortable way. The battery stores up to 77 kWh of energy (net) and enables ranges of up to 520 km (WLTP). It is installed below the passenger compartment which guarantees a low centre of gravity. The electric drive motor, positioned at the rear axle, generates 150 kW (204 PS) – enough to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and deliver a top speed of 160 km/h. Thanks to the rear-wheel drive’s strong grip and its 21 centimetres of ground clearance, the E-SUV also performs well in gentle off-road terrain.

Dynamic appearance. 

The ID.4’s exterior has athletic proportions for an ultra-modern appearance. Its clear, flowing design is inspired by nature and guarantees very good aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of 0.28. Its basic version already features headlights that are almost completely equipped with light-emitting diodes while its tail light clusters have been fully equipped with this technology. As the top-of-the-range version, interactive IQ.Light LED matrix headlights are even more progressive: they welcome drivers with swivelling lens modules and generate an intelligently controlled main beam. These headlights have been paired with the new 3D LED tail light clusters. Their tail light is particularly homogeneous and lights up in an intensive red. The large wheels with a diameter of up to 21 inches underline the vehicle’s character.

Spacious concept: long wheelbase, plenty of room for passengers and luggage

The ID.4 with a length of 4.58 metres uses Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) architecture. It divides the space for occupants and technology in a completely new way in favour of passengers. The room available in the vehicle interior is at the level of conventional SUVs in the next category up. Colours and materials are contemporary while also being homely. Depending on the rear seat backrest’s position, the luggage compartment boasts a capacity from 543 to 1,575 litres. The equipment range of the ID.4 includes an electrically driven boot lid, roof railing and a towing bracket.

The E-SUV’s operating concept does not depend on physical buttons and switches. It is based on two displays – one of which diagonally measures up to 12 inches and features touch functionality – as well as “Hello ID.” natural voice control. The new ID.Light – a narrow light strip under the windscreen – intuitively supports drivers. An augmented reality head-up display is optionally available to blend a host of displays with reality – for instance, navigation arrows telling drivers to turn off are projected onto the road surface in exactly the right lane. The Discover Pro navigation system brings We Connect Start online services on board. IQ.Drive assist systems make driving an even more relaxed experience and this particularly applies to Travel Assist. Software and hardware in the ID.4 have been designed as part of a completely new architecture, making it possible for customers to download updates to the car after the purchase.

We Charge: charge at home, when out and about and on long journeys

Together with the ID. models, Volkswagen is launching on the market a complete package for convenient, connected and sustainable charging of electric cars under the name We Charge. This offers the ideal solution for any situation – whether you are at home, out and about or on a long journey. The ID.4 can be recharged with direct current to cover the next 320 km (as per WLTP, at 125 kW) at a DC quick-charging station in around 30 minutes.

In parallel, Volkswagen is establishing an ecosystem of sustainable electric mobility surrounding ID. models. ID.4 customers will receive a vehicle that has been produced with a carbon-neutral balance. And if it is charged using sustainably produced electricity – like Volkswagen Naturstrom – it will remain carbon-neutral on the road too.

Volkswagen’s strategy: the future of mobility is electric

As of late, Volkswagen has been supplementing the brand’s traditional product portfolio with the ID. family: a new, independent product range. Following the compact ID.3, the ID.4 SUV is the second fully electric model. In the future, Volkswagen will be competing in the globally booming compact SUV segment with the ID.4. The ID.4 will be gradually turned into an electrically driven, global car with plans to produce and sell the E-SUV not only in Europe, but also in China and later in the USA. On a whole, Volkswagen brand will be investing eleven billion euros in electric mobility by 2024 as part of the Transform 2025+ strategy.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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