The Volkswagen ID.4 is an enormous deal for its producer. After getting busted six years in the past for fibbing about diesel emissions, VW underwent a company transformation, throwing all its chips into electrification. As an enormous believer in modular architectures that it might probably use to construct a variety of automobiles from a standard set of elements, it set to work on a brand new structure only for battery electrical automobiles, known as MEB (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten or Modular Electrification Toolkit).
Since then, we have seen a dizzying array of MEB-based concepts, together with that electric bus that everyone wants, and even a bright green buggy. However the ID.4 is not any mere idea. It is the primary manufacturing MEB automobile to go on sale right here within the US, designed with the crossover-crazy US market firmly in thoughts. Final September we got our first good look at the ID.4 in beneath studio lights in Brooklyn, and a month later, Ars obtained to spend 45 minutes on the road with a pre-production ID.4. However now we have had two full days in a mannequin yr 2021 ID.4 1st Version, attending to understand it on native turf.
Volumetrically, it is about the identical measurement as a Toyota RAV4 or VW Tiguan: 181 inches (4,585mm) lengthy, 73 inches extensive (1,852mm), and 64 inches tall (1,637mm), with a 109-inch (2,766mm) wheelbase. Relying on the angle it may be fairly a good-looking form. That is helped by the way in which the first Version’s aerodynamic 20-inch alloy wheels fill their arches helps persuade the mind that the automobile is smaller than it really is, in addition to the designer’s trick of constructing bits disappear by cladding them in shiny black panels.
At a measurement of 0.28, the ID.4’s drag coefficient could be thought of very slippery just some years in the past. VW says it may have lowered that determine by making it a fastback (just like the Audi e-tron Sportback or MEB-based e-tron Q Sportback) however that might have compromised rear headroom and cargo capability.
For now, all ID.4s have the identical powertrain configuration. A twin-motor, all-wheel drive possibility arrives in late summer season, however the $43,995 1st version, the $39,995 ID.4, and the $44,495 ID.4 Professional S are all rear-wheel drive, with a single 150kW (201hp), 310Nm (229lb-ft) everlasting magnet synchronous motor situated above the rear axle. (All costs are earlier than relevant federal or native tax credit and incentives, and the first Version is now offered out.)
American-made ID.4s will start churning out of VW’s Chattanooga manufacturing facility subsequent yr, and a while after that we must always see a ~$35,000 model with a smaller battery pack utilizing domestically made cells. Till then, there’s only a single pack possibility with a useable capability of 77kWH (82kWh whole capability), fabricated from 288 pouch cells cut up throughout 12 modules.
Vary, effectivity, and charging
In the intervening time, vary is the primary factor folks need from a battery EV. The official EPA score for the ID.4 is 250 miles of vary (402km) from the battery’s useable 77kWh. I averaged 3.3 miles/kWh, utilizing each the heating and air-con because of some late February climate that ranged from beneath freezing to heat sufficient for brief sleeves within the area of day.
The overwhelming majority of ID.4 homeowners will plug them in every night time and with sufficient amps, the onboard AC charger can attain 11kW, recharging the battery in 7.5 hours. A DC quick charger takes simply 38 minutes to cost the ID.4 from 5 % to 80 %, at a most of 125kW. (As we now have discovered with most different BEVs and quick charging, should you arrive with a higher state of cost, it nonetheless takes roughly the identical time to get to 80 %, the battery simply attracts a decrease quantity of energy.) VW is even together with three years of limitless DC charging with Electrify America, which is nice information for potential consumers who do not have a storage or carport the place they will cost at dwelling.
The brand new ISO15118 Plug and Cost protocol hasn’t made its option to the ID.4 but, however VW tells us that ought to arrive with the primary over-the-air software program replace later this yr. As soon as that occurs, you will not even want the Electrify America app in your cellphone, as the car will handle authentication and billing when it handshakes with the charger.
A really VW expertise
By now I’ve sat by way of a minimum of three briefings concerning the ID.4, and every time VW burdened that it wished to make a crossover to attraction to regular VW clients, one thing that would tempt the electrocurious out of a Tiguan with out scaring them. That is achieved partially by the inside, which is immediately recognizable as a VW by way of the design language but in addition the usage of supplies, just like the pebble-textured smooth plastic that it so usually makes use of for dashboards and door playing cards.
Our 1st Version stands out by having a white steering wheel, in addition to whimsical Play and Pause symbols on the pedals, however as you may see within the gallery above, it appears to be like much more sober with a black steering wheel. Forward of the motive force is a 5.3-inch principal instrument show, and to the correct of it, the drive selector. Twist it away from you to interact D (or B, which will increase regenerative braking), and in direction of you to interact reverse. To park, merely push the button on the tip. Flip alerts and windshield wipers are activated by standard stalks, and there are the same old controls on the wheel for adaptive cruise management and media.
We’ll get to the infotainment expertise in a bit extra depth shortly, however the 1st Version and ID.4 Professional S each use a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with a smaller 10-inch unit within the ID.4 Professional. Not like another new BEVs, there are nonetheless loads of soft-touch buttons to push for widespread controls just like the wing mirrors, local weather, quantity, lights, and so forth.
The passenger expertise within the ID.4 is a spacious one, whether or not that is within the entrance or again seats. As you may notice within the footage, there’s loads of leg room for the rear seats (37.6-inches/954mm) and there is a utterly flat flooring on the again. There’s a first rate array of storage bins and cubbies, and the cargo space grows from 30.3 cubic toes (858L) to 64.2 cubic toes (1,818L) with the rear seats folded down. We did not take a look at it as a tow automobile, but it surely’s rated for two,000lb (907kg) masses within the US, with the forthcoming AWD model rated for two,700lbs (1,225kg).