Volkswagen introduced the newest addition to its ID-badged family of concept cars at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named ID Space Vizzion, the seventh member of the line shares its modular MEB architecture with the firm's other electric vehicles, including the ID.3 already in production.
The ID Space Vizzion is a design exercise that shows how stylists can apply new ways of thinking when designing a battery-powered vehicle. An electric motor is smaller than a comparable four-cylinder engine, so designers were able to give the concept a low hood that's relatively short. To us, this sleek wagon's front end design is almost eighth-generation Golf-like; it's quite a looker.
The exterior door handles remained in the parts bin to help Volkswagen achieve a sleek 0.24 drag coefficient, so the firm developed a function named Keyless Advanced which summons back-lit touchpads integrated into each door when it senses someone holding the key is approaching the car. It recognizes the key fob, which isn't unusual by any means, but it can also detect the presence of a smartphone programmed with a synchronized mobile key. Opening the doors (or the hatch, for that matter) is as simple as briefly making contact with the touchpad.
Once inside, the driver faces a small digital instrument cluster, but relies on an augmented reality head-up display to see key information about the car and its surroundings, like navigation directions and how much electricity is left in the battery pack. The dashboard is dominated by 15.6-inch touchscreen mounted in the middle of the dashboard like a flat-screen television attached to a wall.
Leather is increasingly becoming taboo in the concept car world, so Volkswagen developed a material named AppleSkin that is partly made with the scraps left over from the process of making apple juice. Apple residue replaced about 20 percent of the concept's interior plastics.
The ID Space Vizzion has a near-50:50 weight distribution, and it was developed to deliver engaging handing. The model displayed in Los Angeles is powered by a 275-horsepower electric motor mounted right over the rear axle, but Volkswagen noted making it all-wheel drive is as simple as adding a second electric motor that spins the front wheels. Equipped with through-the-road 4Motion, the design study would take 5 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop and a top speed of 109 mph. The 82-kWh lithium-ion battery pack stores enough electricity for about 300 miles of driving range.
Volkswagen has already started the process of turning its ID concepts into production models. The Golf-sized ID.3 hatchback made its global debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, and it entered production in November 2019. It won't be sold in the United States, but a follow-up model called ID.4 will arrive in early 2020, and it will roll out of the company's Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory by 2022. And, the retrolicious ID Buzz concept remains earmarked for a 2022 introduction.
Will the ID Space Vizzion see the light at the end of a production line? It's possible, according to the Wolfsburg-based firm, with 2022 mentioned as a possibility for Europe and North America.