Looks like Volkswagen’s first next-generation electric vehicle due in 2022 will not be the remake of the Microbus after all, but a compact crossover based on the new I.D. Crozz concept introduced to North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Volkswagen has not announced if its next-gen EV lineup will carry distinct branding (maybe I.D.?) as it moves toward mass-producing 15 EV models by 2025, or if the Crozz will be integrated into the Tiguan line-up, seeing as the two are similarly sized.
The Crozz made its North American debut in LA, after its introduction in Shanghai this past spring and update earlier this fall in Frankfurt. It shared the stage with the original I.D. concept that influenced the e-Golf and will lead toward the next-generation compact EV hatchback, and the I.D. Buzz, which will lead to the new Magicbus. All three vehicles will be built using Volkswagen’s new modular electric platform, as will the other 12 EVs due by 2025.
“The I.D. CROZZ-based electric vehicle will be an affordable and stylish electric SUV—and there is more to come,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen America. “The I.D. CROZZ and the I.D. BUZZ will help Volkswagen to kick off an EV revolution in the United States. All of our I.D. concept cars demonstrate the inherent flexibility, driving range and smart design that can serve the needs of 21st century drivers.”
For the Crozz, that means a combined output of 302 hp thanks to electric motors front (75 kW) and rear (150 kW). They get their juice from an 83-kWh lithium-ion battery, which helps the vehicle achieve an estimated range of 483 km, with the motors creating an electric version of 4Motion all-wheel drive.
The drivetrain is biased completely toward the rear, with the front motor kicking in to add traction as needed (although it can also be locked in for 4-wheel drive performance when those conditions warrant it). The battery can reportedly be charged to 80% in about a half hour, using a 150 kWh DC charger.
The future electric SUV 4-door coupe will likely bear little resemblance to the I.D. Crozz concept, which features voice activated doors (the rear ones slide backward to open up the side of the vehicle completely, thanks to pillarless construction. None of the features listed in this last sentence are expected to make it to production.
The vehicle also features an autonomous driving system (I.D. Pilot), which is due for deployment in 2025. It uses an array of lasers, ultrasonic and radar sensors, and cameras, and can be activated at the push of the steering wheel VW badge or by voice.
The modular high-tech interior can be adapted to transport four passengers or variously sized cargo. It features motion controls for the window shades and doors (which are also voice activated), digital door panels, electrically adjustable steering wheel (which retracts into the instrument panel when the car goes into self-driving mode), augmented reality head-up display, and overhead LED light strips to minimize blocking the light filtering in through the panoramic sunroof.
Smart Lighting inside also alerts cabin occupants to a variety of occurrences, such as blinking door panels when voice control is activated, instrument panel light strip that changes from white to red when autonomous driving is activated, and warnings about potential hazards in the vehicle’s blind spots.