The first model from Volkswagen's new family of ID electric cars has been spotted testing in prototype form.
The car is a compact hatch similar in size to VW's Golf, and its arrival will mark the start of VW's transition to an electric car manufacturer.
The design was previewed in 2016 by the ID Neo concept and this production version is confirmed to roll off the line in late 2019.
Unfortunately, a launch in the United States isn't expected. Instead, the first of the ID cars here should be a small crossover SUV based on 2017's ID Crozz concept, due around 2020. A spiritual successor to VW's Microbus based on 2017's ID Buzz concept is also planned. It will come around 2022 and most likely be joined by a commercial version.
As expected, the design is very similar to what we saw on the concept. Conventional side mirrors have replaced the camera-based system of the concept, however, and conventional door handles have replaced the show car's electric mechanism.
Although the car is about the size of the compact Golf, interior space is expected to be similar to the mid-size Passat thanks to the flat, skateboard-style design of the MEB platform that Volkswagen Group has developed for its non-premium electric cars. VW Group in September said 27 MEB-based models spread across four brands (likely VW, Skoda, Seat and Audi) will be available by the end of 2022, ranging from subcompact cars up to the aforementioned Microbus successor.
Volkswagen ID Neo concept, 2016 Paris auto show
At the reveal of the ID Neo concept, VW said the vehicle had a single electric motor at the rear axle generating approximately 167 horsepower and multiple battery options offering anywhere between 250 and 370 miles of range.
This figure is based on more lenient measures used in Europe and will likely be reduced when measured using EPA standards. Still, we’re expecting a range of well over 300 miles on a single charge. The automaker also said the price of the production would be similar to what buyers can expect to pay for a well-equipped Golf.
Note, VW is thought to be working on at least five members for the ID family. A fourth member is likely to be a large sedan based on 2018's ID Vizzion concept, while the fifth member is rumored to be a large SUV.