Volkswagen is going to flood the market with electric vehicles.
If you were ever in doubt that electric cars are our immediate future, then those doubts should be ebbing away now. Every automaker has either released, is about to release, or has a roadmap to release an electric car. And they're all years behind Tesla. However, being years behind Tesla isn't a big deal for the largest automakers who have the budget, talent, and framework in place to accelerate the development of a range of electric vehicles. For Volkswagen, that range of electric cars is denoted by the letters ID and then numerically starts with the smallest as a hatchback and will grow to its largest vehicles, with those being seven or eight-seater SUVs. There have been many ID concept vehicles, but this is everything we know about the current and upcoming Volkswagen ID. series of vehicles that are going into production.
ID stands for Intelligent Design, and the ID.3 was the first of Volkswagen's range to hit the market. The ID.3 is a compact (C-segment in Europe) electric car that was unveiled in September of 2019 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It hasn't come to the US but sold close to 57,000 units in 2020, which put it straight into the top ten best-selling plug-in electric vehicles in the world. That feat becomes even more impressive when you consider that it was only on sale for four months of 2020.
In Europe, the smallest class of vehicles is the A-Segment, which is why Volkswagen is planning two smaller electric cars called the ID.1 and ID.2. The ID.3 is based on Volkswagen's MEB Platform, a modular architecture for electric vehicles, and has a range of up to 341 miles with the largest battery, based on the European WLTP cycle.
The first of the ID range to come to the US is the Volkswagen ID.4 and is probably the most important car for Volkswagen since the Golf. It's a compact crossover and one that Volkswagen intends to sell in high volumes to the mass-market. While the ID.3 is targeted at the European market, the ID.4 is squarely aimed at the US market where the compact crossover is already king. According to Scott Keogh of Volkswagen America, the ID.4 "drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan, and the purpose of the Beetle." There is some merit to the claim, as the ID.4 was launched with 201 horsepower, 228 lb·ft of torque, rear-wheel drive, and the 82 kWh battery pack that gives a range of up to 250 miles. A more powerful all-wheel-drive variant is also on the horizon and will produce 302 hp, getting much closer to the 'GTI' part of Keogh's statement.
The Volkswagen ID.5 is a future car and a coupe-style version of the ID.4. Unfortunately, Volkswagen has said out loud that it won't be coming to the US. However, we're not going to rule it out at a later date. Currently, the ID.4 is only being built at VW's Zwickau factory in Germany, but Volkswagen will make the US model at its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory. If the market looks like it would appreciate the ID.5, it would be relatively easy for Volkswagen to sell it here. Unlike piston-powered cars, there are no emissions issues when bringing a new car to market, and the ID.4 already meets other regulations.
It was originally believed the ID.6 would be based on the Volkswagen I.D.Roomzz, a large crossover with sliding front and rear doors on either side. However, a leak shows that the ID.6 will actually be a seven-seater crossover, and its full title will likely be the ID.6 X. It will again utilize Volkswagen's MEB Platform, but it's suggested that it will be a China-only model. We're not sure about that rumor, as a seven-seater crossover would suit the US market perfectly. It's possible that, as the rumors suggested for the I.D.Roomzz production version, it will go to China first, then Europe, then the US. With room for seven people and an 82-kWh battery giving nearly 300 miles of range, it seems absurd it wouldn't come to the US following its official reveal, which we expect to happen later in 2021.
After the ID.6, we're not sure where Volkswagen will be going. The I.D.Buzz started out as a concept, and the rumor mill believed it would be called the ID.7. However, Volkswagen has been calling it by its concept name, so we will too for now. It's a modern take on the classic Microbus, or just Bus if you're old enough, and Volkswagen sees it as a people transporter van and a working van and has publicly positioned it as the first Volkswagen product that will be autonomous. As an autonomous vehicle, it will fall under the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles banner as part of its autonomous ride-hailing service business plan.
Volkswagen has said it plans to have the ID.Vizzion Concept sedan out as a production vehicle as early as 2022. The concept has tech that includes facial recognition and 8,000 HD Matrix LEDs that Volkswagen claims will "communicate with the outside world by projecting the image of crosswalk lines in front of the I.D.VIZZION to let pedestrians know they can safely pass in front." Volkswagen is also lining it up to have Level 5 autonomy, meaning it won't need a steering wheel. We already know that the ID.Buzz will be the first Volkswagen with full autonomy, so we don't expect that on the 2022 model. The only thing Volkswagen has confirmed at the time of writing is that it will make the same 302 hp using its 111-kWh battery and deliver the same range of around 400 miles as the concept.