VW’s First Real Mainstream EV SUV Officially Unveiled
Volkswagen’s ID.4 electric crossover will arrive in Canada mid-2021, with e-Golf no more
Volkswagen provided the first official look at the much-anticipated production version of its ID.4 compact crossover which will lead the way in the German brand’s line of all-electric vehicles, with the first ones slated to arrive in Canada by late spring or early summer next year, VW Canada confirmed.
VW revealed that the production ID.4 will have a 0.28 coefficient of drag (Cd), and will be roughly the size of a Tiguan. Unlike the converted e-Golf, final shipments of which have just arrived in Canada, the ID.4 will offer a heat pump for the battery as standard equipment, along with a heated steering wheel, and pre-heating in the ID.4, which was designed and engineered as an electric vehicle.
This super-slippery Cd figure will help VW achieve its ambitious range targets, estimated by Canadian officials at over 400 km, but listed as “over 500 km” using the WLTP standard, which is usually closer to more realistic North American figures, and sometimes even underneath final EPA or Natural Resources Canada figures. American and European versions will launch with rear-wheel drive as standard, but a second motor all-wheel drive system will be released later, and offered on Canadian models right from launch.
There will be a slight reduction in overall range for ID.4 AWD models, said Patrick Danielson, VW Canada’s product planning manager. But on the positive side, the ID.4 will be able to tow, a rarity on current EVs, and will offer a 2,700-pound tow rating.
“This isn’t just an efficiency oriented car – this is an electric SUV with the soul of a GTI,” said Danielson, noting its 302 hp and its 5.8 second 0-100 km acceleration time of the all-wheel drive model.
The ID.4 will offer an 82 kWh battery, with 77 kWh of that usable, which is massive for a non-luxury EV, with charging speeds up to 125 kW when quick charging. It will be able to charge from 5-80 per cent full in 38 minutes at a sufficiently high-speed charger, available at Electrify Canada or a growing number of other EV high-speed charging public networks.
Images released recently of its interior reveal a very modern, digital motif, with no transmission tunnel or shifter under its central screen. One standout feature is dubbed the ID. Light: it’s a thin strip of LED light that runs across the base of the windshield, and can be used to know when the ID.4 is fully charged, its charging status when plugged in, and will flash red in response to the frontal warning collision system.
The ID.4’s cargo area behind the rear seats offers 858 litres of cargo space, or 1,818 L with the rear seats folded, which will trump most compact SUVs. Volkswagen has confirmed that its seat coverings will be “animal-free,” though leatherette will be offered, as well as a panoramic roof, auto-open tailgate, and LED-lit door handles.
The ID.4 is the second vehicle to be built off this MEB platform, following the ID.3 hatchback which went on sale in Europe earlier this month. Its battery is integrated into the structure under the floor of all MEB models, freeing up passenger and cargo space, while maximizing range possibilities. Early North American models will be built at VW’s Zwickau plant in Germany, before production is expanded to its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant near the end of 2022 for vehicles to be sold on this continent.
The ID.4 is part of company’s far-reaching EV product offensive that will see the VW Group produce a planned 1.5 million EVs by 2025, spend 33 billion Euros on electric vehicle development by 2024, and offer 75 all-electric vehicles across the world by 2029, said Pierre Boutin, Volkswagen of Canada president.
“You’ve heard our tagline ‘electric for the millions, not just the millionaires,” said Boutin in a morning media presentation of the ID.4. “Compact SUVs make up the biggest segment in the Canadian market, so we’re very happy to start our electric future here.”
The VW ID.4 will come with a period of free high-speed charging on the Electrify Canada network, VW Canada officials confirmed, likely for two years, but terms have not quite been finalized yet, they said.
The ID.4 will launch as a 2021 model next year in Canada, with pricing to be announced in early 2021. Boutin said allocation will start with the three largest provinces for EVs, but supply likely won’t be enough for demand until the U.S. plant production for North America comes on board in about two years from now. Orders will be through VW dealers, as there won’t be a direct OEM to customer digital service in Canada.
“We expect electric vehicles between now and 2025 to account for a very important part of our sales in Canada.”