Car News

Volkswagen ID. Space Vizzion Concept: an EV for the Family

LOS ANGELES, CA – For Canadian buyers who pine for a family-friendly yet sporty electric vehicle, Volkswagen has a uniquely enticing debut: the ID. Space Vizzion Concept, a futuristic five-door that previews a production mid-size EV Sportwagen.

The Vizzion Concept unveiled at an evening event just before the opening of the LA auto show is a sleek rear-wheel drive four-seater, but VW says potential production versions could easily offer three rear seats, as well as another electric motor on the front-axle to offer all-wheel-drive 4Matic versions.

Scott Keogh, president and CEO VW Group of America, confirmed that a version of this vehicle will go into production for North America: The first of the three ID. vehicles coming to North America will be the ID. Crozz SUV, which we’ve basically seen in concept form but will be officially shown next year; the ID. Buzz; and then this vehicle here.

Heading to production, in some form

“Now this vehicle has been shown in two iterations, so we’ll see which one is coming,” said Keogh in a scrum after the Space Vizzion concept’s unveiling. “I think this car is cool as hell.”

He didn’t go into details about the other version, but the other Vizzion concept that Volkswagen has presented was a spacey large four-door concept shown at the Geneva auto show in 2018, with clamshell doors and luxury car-size and technology.

VW says the current ID. Space Vizzion is being considered for both North America and Europe, where wagons are much more popular. Its 82 kWh battery will provide an estimated 300 miles (480 km) of EPA-rated range, a North American figure not often provided for concepts not headed for showrooms.

Keogh said the company will offer 20 different electric models by 2025. Volkswagen had previously announced that it planned to release 27 electric vehicle models into production by 2022, so it does appear that there have been some delays in timing, as well as some scaling back of VW’s aggressive EV plans. Still, this will mean over 20 million EVs across the VW Group on the MEB platform alone by 2029, said Keogh.

Ambitious global EV goals

“We will be the first OEM to truly scale electrification – and we can do that through the MEB platform,” with eight plants around the world set to build it, including at the Chattanooga plant in the US, said Keogh.

The ID. Space Vizzion is the seventh ID. concept unveiled so far, offering 275 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque from its rear motor, while all-wheel-drive 4Motion versions will receive 335 hp total. The 4Motion will offer fleet acceleration, with a zero-to-100 km time of 5.0 seconds, predicts Volkswagen, with a 109 mph (175 km/h) top speed. The battery can be charged to 80 percent from just above zero in 30 minutes, when connected to a Level 3 Combo SAE charger at 150 kW.

Futuristic touches abound

With power-operated doors controlled by a touch-sensitive touchpad, the door “handles” are lit up to show where to touch, though they were controlled remotely by iPad on the concept, with buttons inside the doors suggesting they could be opened and closed by touch as well.

Sitting inside, a massive 15.6-inch horizontal centre screen dominates the interior, with all climate and infotainment functions housed there.

More futuristically, most of the driving information in front of the driver has been moved up to the large head-up display, which also features augmented reality. A leather-like but cow-free material lines the interior, which VW calls its AppleSkin material, as it uses a by-product of apple juice production.

The steering wheel also features touch-sensitive panels, with the right-hand stalk now becoming the transmission shifter, moving the wipers to the left for the first time ever on a Volkswagen. With 30 LED accent colours to choose from in the interior, individual colours can be assigned to particular functions – allowing the cabin to be lit up in a distinctive colour when a call comes in, for example.

Some tech familiar from Tesla, others

That shift stalk to the right of the steering wheel finds a contemporary counterpart in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but its all-electric powertrain and some tech bits will likely invite comparison to Tesla. The big horizontal screen and lack of gauges in the rest of the interior feels similiar to the Tesla Model 3, plus the ID. Space Vizzion also allows door access through your phone.

This Vizzion’s super-sleek co-efficient of drag of just 0.24, with less frontal area than most ID. SUV concepts, helping to reduce noise and increase range. Its mid-size length of 195.2 inches (4,958 mm) puts it beyond a Passat, and roughly two inches taller in height as well, at just over five feet tall.

And with cargo space being key in any family hauler, the Space Vizzion shines here, with a nice flat floor and minimal strut intrusion, and 586 litres of space with all seats up.

All in all, it’s a unique take on the electric family hauler, with more height than a regular wagon, but still low enough for sedan dynamics that promise more potential driving fun but all the practicality of a similarly sized SUV.