Production is a lot closer than you think.
Ever since it pulled the veil off the ID concept three years ago, Volkswagen has been rolling out a relentless stream of electric-vehicle concepts at car shows around the world. And it's just revealed another in Shanghai.
Called the ID. Roomzz, this latest show car takes the form of a three-row crossover – sort of like the Atlas that's already in showrooms and out on the road, but with a less rugged, more futuristic design, an all-electric powertrain, and fully autonomous capability to make for the sixth and most accommodating member of the ID family yet.
The concept packs a pair of electric motors with a combined output of 225 kilowatts – equivalent to nearly 302 horsepower, or a fair bit less than the 300-kW/402-hp Audi E-Tron. It's juiced by an 82-kWh lithium-ion battery pack beneath the floor that can be either plugged in or charged wirelessly by induction. With all-wheel traction, the powertrain delivers a 0-62 time quoted at 6.6 seconds, a top speed limited to 112 mph, and a range projected at 450 kilometers (280 miles) on the European WLTP cycle or 475 km (295 miles) by Chinese NEFZ standards.
At over sixteen feet, the ID. Roomz is as long as the Atlas and sits nearly as tall (though not quite as wide). The bodywork is coated in Sunset Red with flecks of gold to not only make it sparkle but draw on poignant themes in China where the show car is being unveiled (and where Volkswagen is sure to sell a few).
The design incorporates similar styling cues to the other members of the ID family we've seen to date, but with a higher shoulder line and muscular haunches (capped by a contrasting aluminum roof frame) to give it more presence on the road.
The interior is accessed via illuminated touch strips mounted low with the rear-view cameras, triggering a welcome sequence of lights, from the illuminated VW logo in the nose to the programmable taillight strip and the "light blind” in rear window to act as the third brake light.
Four van-like doors slide open to gain access to the adaptable cabin space upholstered in recycled AppleSkin artificial leather and (though billed as a three-row vehicle) incorporating four individual seats that can face straight ahead, pivot 20 degrees outward to optimize ingress and egress, or rotate 25 degrees inwards for a more lounge-like space.
The unconventional dashboard is dominated by an oversized glass panel, with a 13.8-inch infotainment display, an augmented-reality display that projects navigation information seemingly in mid-air, and interactive "ID. Light” strips to display additional information at the base of the windscreen, on the doors, and in the roofliner. The steering wheel integrates a 5.8-inch display for the most vital data, and moves out of the way when the Level 4 self-driving system is switched on.
It all seems like science fiction, but Volkswagen says it'll put the ID. Roomz concept into production in 2021 – and it won't be alone.
We'll have to wait and see just which and how many of the futuristic features (and autonomous capabilities) integrated into this and the preceding concepts will make their way into production. But what's clear is that Wolfsburg is getting very serious about its forthcoming lineup of electric vehicles that'll be zipping along our roads in the coming years.