Volkswagen ID.Vizzion: the concept version of the “electric Passat” arrives at the Beijing Motor Show

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Volkswagen has confirmed that it will preview a new addition to its ID electric car lineup with a concept at the 2022 Beijing Motor Show in April. The sleek four-door is positioning itself as a zero-emission version of the Passat and Arteon – and thus a potential rival for the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6.

A similar concept, called ID.Vizzion, was unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, but the Beijing car is expected to evolve closer to production reality. Speaking at the VW Group’s annual results conference, CEO Ralf Brandstaetter said the first production examples of the car will be delivered to China towards the end of 2023, adding that “it has an aerodynamic design and a high range of 700 kilometers (435 miles)”.

No specific release date for the European market has been mentioned, and it’s possible that – like the China-only ID.6 – the car won’t come to Europe at all, given the bodyshell’s declining popularity. of the four-door sedan in this region. An official name has yet to be confirmed, but Volkswagen has trademarked a wide range of digital “ID” nameplates, so the newcomer could possibly be badged ID.7, ID.8 or ID.9.

Previously, what appears to be the production version of this car (above) was spotted being tested in the Austrian Alps by spy photographers. Although Beijing’s next concept is a sedan, the car pictured appeared to be a five-door sedan. This may be due either to a dummy body not representative of the finished article, or an indication that the production car will in fact be a sedan.

A similar range of motor and battery options found in existing ID models are expected, including a potent high-performance four-wheel-drive variant badged as GTX. But the size of this model may allow for the fitting of a slightly larger battery than even the longer-range variants of these cars – something apparently backed up by Brandstaetter’s 435-mile range claim.

In the ID.3 sedan, the 77kWh battery returns a maximum range of around 340 miles, but it’s possible the Passat equivalent could accommodate a around 80kWh battery for a range of over 430 miles, thanks to a stretched version of the MEB platform to offer the long wheelbase favored by Chinese buyers.

Volkswagen ID. Vizzion Space Concept

The station wagon version of the car was unveiled in concept form – bearing the name ID. Space Vizzion – at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2019. The sleek five-door was described by VW at the time as having “the aerodynamic properties of a Gran Turismo with the spacious proportions of an SUV”. The Space Vizzion was developed from the earlier Vizzion concept, shown at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Although we don’t yet have exact technical details for the production version of the car, the ID. Space Vizzion has stored energy in an 82kWh battery (with a useful capacity of 77kWh), giving it an impressive potential range of up to 367 miles. It also had a charging capacity of 150 kW, for a recharge from 0 to 80% in 30 minutes.

A 275hp motor on the rear axle has been shown as the standard specification (giving the range figure above), while the addition of a 100hp motor on the front gives a combined output of 335 hp and all-wheel drive. In this latest configuration, the Space Vizzion will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds, with a top speed limited to 109 mph. VW says the battery and motors are positioned to give the Space Vizzion a near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution, which promises better balance and handling.

Design

As with many electric vehicles, the ID. Space Vizzion has emphasized aerodynamic efficiency in its design, which benefits range. Air enters through slats in the front bumper and passes through tunnels behind the ‘grille’ area (located where the engine would be in an internal combustion car).

It then emerges from the gaps in the bonnet and passes over the windscreen, along the roof and through a small gap between the roof and the rear fender, allowing smooth, continuous airflow from the front to the rear. the back of the car. There’s also an aero diffuser at the lower rear of the car, and the 22-inch wheels fitted to the concept have aero flaps to optimize airflow over their faces.

On the front, the ID. Space Vizzion features a thin white light strip, with an illuminated “VW” logo in the center. There are also ‘IQ.LIGHT’ matrix LED headlights integrated into the bumper, as well as honeycomb-style LED daytime running lights and a transparent red light strip that runs across the entire rear of the car.

Instead of door handles, the concept has illuminated touch surfaces that become active when someone approaches with the car key (or a paired smartphone) on their person. This further improves the aerodynamic efficiency of the car. The identity. Space Vizzion is 4.9 meters long, 1.5 meters high and just under two meters wide; dimensions similar to the current Volkswagen Passat Estate.

Interior

The identity. Space Vizzion features a minimalist interior with a large landscape-oriented touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard – much like the arrangement of the Tesla Model 3. There are plenty of durable materials, including a plant-based leather alternative called “AppleSkin”, made from the residue of apple juice production. Chrome-look paint is used instead of chrome and Alcantara trim is also present.

For the driver, most information is displayed using an augmented reality (AR) head-up display, with the traditional cockpit display reduced to a “mini secondary screen displaying information only. basic”. The controls on the steering column are used to select the driving mode (driving, energy recuperation, reverse gear, neutral and park) and to activate the indicators and the windshield wipers.

Elsewhere, an ‘ID. The interactive Light strip on the A-pillar can greet the driver as they enter the car, indicate when the motors are operational, and display important navigation information and other prompts (such as an incoming phone call) in the driver’s peripheral vision. It also works in tandem with voice control to make operating the car’s systems in this way more intuitive.

The identity. The Space Vizzion concept is a four-seater, although it’s highly likely that a more conventional five-seater configuration will be adopted for any production version. In the concept, a large folding center console between the two rear seats contains storage spaces, a cup holder and USB ports. In the 586-liter trunk, VW has equipped the concept of electric longboards adapted to the area and serving as a raised floor when stored. Also included are helmets for use with the boards, which VW says can serve as “last mile street surfers.”

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