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The VW ID.4 Will Be America's First Electric SUV Built On The Promising MEB Platform

All images: VW
All images: VW

Volkswagen has just announced the Volkswagen ID.4, the very first vehicle built on the company’s promising Modular Electric Drive Matrix platform (MEB) that will be sold in the U.S. Here’s our best look yet at the upcoming SUV, and a few new details.

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We’ve already heard that the U.S. is not getting the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback, the first VW built on the MEB platform that is set to underpin over 10 million electric vehicles in the coming years. While that’s a shame, we are set to get a crossover, the concept version of which VW has been calling the I.D. Crozz.

Today, instead of presenting its car at the Geneva Motor Show (which has been canceled), VW showed during a webcast photos of a “near production concept car” that will presumably be tweaked and then launched later this year. That car, by the way, will bear the name “ID.4.”

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Car companies do this from time to time, showing all-but-production-ready “concepts” that are basically what we get on the showroom floor. Various BMW M5 and M3 “concepts” show before the nearly-identical production car, for instance, and you get similar action from Honda typically. It’s annoying, but this is basically what we can expect out of the production model..

From VW’s press release:

Wolfsburg (Germany) – The ID. CROZZ2 showcar evolves into its series production version, the ID.4: Volkswagen is forging ahead with its electric mobility strategy by providing a detailed insight into the brand’s first all-electric SUV during a webcast following the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show. The new ID.4 will be launched this year. Following in the tracks of the ID.3, the countdown has already begun for the second model based on the new modular electric drive matrix (MEB).

The vehicle will be built and sold in Europe, the U.S., and China, per the VW brand’s chief operating officer Ralf Brandstätter.

Illustration for article titled The VW ID.4 Will Be Americas First Electric SUV Built On The Promising MEB Platform
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Brandstätter mentions that the SUV’s aerodynamic profile will allow for range of up to 311 miles, likely on Europe’s WLTP cycle. The ID.4 will launch as a rear-wheel drive only car, with all-wheel drive coming later.

VW talks in its press release a bit more about how the car is set up, with its batteries in the floor between the axles, and its rather voluminous interior space. Check out our detailed writeup on the MEB platform to learn all about that.

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Autoblog has a bit more about the ID.4's planned rollout:

We’re initially told only that the ID.4 will follow the example of the ID.3 in being introduced to Europe in 2020. We’re expecting a U.S. launch this year as well, with recent sightings of a very lightly disguised, near-production version. A VW spokesman said only that the crossover would be introduced in Europe before the U.S., and by 2022 it will be produced at VW’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. It will also be built in China at some point.

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The website says VW is planning 1.5 million EVs by 2025, which is a lot.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

rear drive seems an odd choice to launch. I guess the AWD model must not have a motor that is matched to the rear and so they couldn’t have done FWD without significant compromises.  Seems like consumers would prefer FWD on something like this standard...but with tight traction logic I don’t think most will ever know.