Volkswagen on Monday presented the next salvo in its EV onslaught in the form of the ID.7, a mid-size hatchback that will fill in for the Passat in the U.S. when it finally goes on sale here in 2024.
The ID.7's design is hardly a surprise as VW previewed it last summer with the ID.Aero concept car. The ID.7's lines have been toned down slightly compared to the concept, though it remains attractive thanks to a coupe-like profile and typical ID styling cues, including headlights with matrix LED technology. At the rear is an LED light strip with a white middle that changes to red when the lights are switched on.
The car is based on Volkswagen Group's MEB platform designed for mainstream EVs. It measures 195.3 inches long and rides on a 116.9-inch wheelbase, making it close in size to the Tesla Model S. That long wheelbase has allowed VW to fit its biggest battery yet to an MEB-based vehicle, in this case an 86-kwh unit with 200 kw of charging capacity. The standard unit is a 77-kwh unit with 170 kw of charging capacity, which is expected to be the sole battery offered in the U.S.
Even with the smaller battery, range is still expected to top 350 miles when measured by the EPA, according to VW. That's thanks in part to a slippery coefficient of drag of 0.23.
When it comes to charging, a thermal management system preconditions the battery before a charging stop. This preconditioning starts automatically on the way to the charging station when the location is selected via the navigation.
Just the one powertrain configuration has been announced. It consists of a single motor at the rear axle rated at 282 hp. The motor is a next-generation design for the MEB platform. An all-wheel-drive option adding a second motor at the front axle is planned, VW has confirmed.
VW describes the ID.7 as the flagship of its ID family of EVs, and in keeping with this positioning the automaker has packed the car with top-shelf cabin technology. Standard features will include a panoramic sunroof with smart glass that can dim automatically, an augmented reality head-up display, a 15.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, and a climate-control system that can direct air at an occupant or spatially to cover the cabin. VW has also included touch sliders for many of the controls, which can be a pain to use when driving, though the automaker has also included voice activation that can serve as an alternative to the touch sliders in many cases.
Automated driver-assist features will include VW's Travel Assist with Swarm Data, which builds on VW's existing Travel Assist feature for automated driving in a single lane, by adding crowd-sourced data to allow the system to work in more areas. Automatic lane changes will also be possible with the latest system.
The automatic parking feature also gets a memory function that can store a parking maneuver covering a distance of up to 54 feet. The car can then repeat the maneuver automatically, with the driver monitoring either from behind the wheel or outside using a smartphone app.
The ID.7 hatch is expected to arrive as a 2025 model. It will follow the local launch of the long-awaited ID.Buzz minivan, which arrives later this year in long-wheelbase guise, likely as a 2024 model.
A wagon body style for the ID.7 is also a strong possibility, though VW remains quiet on the matter.
While the ID.7 will serve as the spiritual successor to the Passat that was dropped here after 2022, a redesigned Passat is being developed for the rest of the world. It will be offered exclusively with a wagon body style.