As far as replacement models go, the VW Passat's successor looks pretty darn good.
Volkswagen is pulling no punches when it comes to dominating the electric vehicle sphere. CEO Herbert Diess may be an admirer of Elon Musk, but that hasn't stopped him from wanting to leap ahead of Tesla in the coming years - something experts say may happen very soon. The brand has now revealed its latest weapon in the EV fight, a gorgeous sedan concept called the ID.Aero.
First teased last week, Volkswagen is promising big things with its classy newcomer. The brand claims an impressive 385-mile range (on the WLTP cycle) and a sumptuously appointed cabin. The automaker hasn't revealed a lot as far as technical details go but notes the concept is equipped with a 77 kWh lithium-ion battery. There aren't any performance figures as yet, but VW says we can expect "dynamic driving behavior" and "a new level of digital networking."
Measuring nearly 192 inches in length, the ID.Aero belies its sizeable dimensions with a streamlined exterior design. The impressive claimed range is aided by the slippery sheet metal; VW says the EV cuts through the air cleaning with a low 0.23 coefficient of drag.
The ID.Aero is instantly recognizable as an electric Volkswagen. There's a resemblance to the ID.4 SUV but there's enough design flair to set this range-topper apart from the rest. This, says VW, has been done by bestowing the concept with high-end headlights and a minimalist look. It's very clean - you won't even find door handles here. Instead, Volkswagen has replaced them with illuminated touch surfaces for a more harmonious look.
We're not sure if that will make it into production, but it sure is a unique touch. At the back, you'll find intricately designed LED taillights that feature the brand's EV-exclusive honeycomb pattern. A black-painted roof further adds to the svelte look and, together with the chrome window trim, gives the ID.Aero an upmarket elegance.
The wheels are particularly striking. The five-spoke design is not only aerodynamic but fits the design to a tee. We're guessing production models will be offered with several smaller wheel choices. We also hope the satin-like Polar Light Blue Metallic shade makes it to production. It contains pigments that, when exposed to certain light conditions, create a dramatic golden sheen.
As we've previously covered, the ID.Aero will be underpinned by VW's electric-only MEB platform. The company says the luxury sedan will debut as the company's flagship EV and will be introduced in North America, Europe, and China. CEO of Volkswagen China Passenger Cars has said the vehicle will launch in the second half of next year.
"The concept has a progressive, stylish and aerodynamic design, yet doesn't compromise on roominess-a series production version for China will launch in the second half of 2023," said Dr. Stephan Wollenstein.
From the previous teaser, we know the ID.Aero's USDM version will be revealed in 2023, so expect a market release in early 2024. However, Volkswagen has said it expects the production version of the European ID.Aero will roll down the production line in 2023. The sedan will be built at VW's Emden plant, which will soon also build the ID.4 SUV.
The svelte-looking creation will hold its position as range-topper - and replacement for the now-defunct Passat - until Project Trinity arrives. We anticipate the spacious EV will rival the upper end of the Tesla Model 3 range and won't be surprised to see it retail for around $60,000+ before incentives. We must remember, however, that this is still a concept. It certainly looks promising, though.