"As revolutionary as the original Beetle."
This September 18th marked the one-year anniversary of Volkswagen’s hell year that we like to call Dieselgate. Through that time, the company has been through the ringer, paying billions to customers and regulators while sales declined due to the breech of trust. As a result, the company has had to change its entire direction, and nowhere is that outlined more clearly than in the concept car it’s bringing to the 2016 Paris Auto Show. Volkswagen just gave us a sneak peak of the reveal.
All we can say about it is that the future seems to be a very different place for the automaker indeed. Named the I.D. Concept, this Volkswagen is unsurprisingly an electric car. It follows the company’s initial plan to shift its focus to electric drivetrains. The I.D. rides on Volkswagen’s MEB modular electric car platform, which it began to work on when it made its announcement about an electric future. Intriguingly enough, Volkswagen mentioned that this concept will be “as revolutionary as the Beetle.” Obviously, the PR department was referencing the original Beetle, a car that’s still one of the world’s most successful vehicles. While we have to wait until Volkswagen makes the official debut, the automaker did give a few crucial details.
For one, this will be the first car in a fleet of electric vehicles, and if range predictions are accurate, then Tesla should be worried because this small EV can go between 250-370 miles on a single charge. An 80% charge comes in just 15 minutes, and all of these highlight features will be available at Volkswagen dealerships by 2020. This will set off an electric car revolution for the brand because just five years later, Volkswagen expects to be selling a million electric cars per year, or about 10% of what it sold in 2015. Also coming in 2025 are fully autonomous features that will be introduced with the I.D. We’ll have to wait until the full reveal to hear more, but for now this concept may be indicative of what’s to come.