The Volkswagen ID.4 is following hot on the heels of the ID.3 as the second car in the brand's fully electric ID line. Taking the form of an SUV, it shares an awful lot with the Enyaq iV from sister brand, Škoda and has been developed as a truly global car. In fact, the ID.4 was first seen in essentially its final form in a document for Chinese type approval several months ago. European specs are becoming clearer now, though.
The ID.4 is the second VW-badged vehicle to sit on the MEB platform which underpins the ID.3, though the aforementioned Škoda, CUPRA el-Born and Audi Q4 e-tron have been shown off to the public between the ID.3 and ID.4.
Underneath the ID.4's skin will be a range of power outputs, battery sizes and two- or four-wheel drive options, albeit to start with we will just be getting two-wheel drive cars. These will take the form of a 146bhp and 168bhp version with a 52kWh battery, alongside 173bhp and 201bhp versions with a 77kWh battery. According to various reports, the bang-in-the-middle 173bhp, 77kWh version will offer the best range at 323 miles on the WLTP cycle.
Two higher-powered four-wheel drive versions will arrive next year, with 261bhp or a range-topping 302bhp option coming with the 77kWh battery. Given the Enyaq iV does 285 miles in both of these power configurations, we'd expect the VW to match that. Maximum charging rates of 100kW and 125kW respectively for the smaller 52kWh and larger 77kWh are supported.
VW has confirmed that the ID.4 will have a maximum towing capacity of 1900kg, which isn't bad at all for a small SUV. It's even more of a boon on an EV, given that many mainstream EVs have limited or no towing capacity. Head over to YouTube if you want to see this ability in action.
You don't have to look too hard to find proper images of the prototype ID.4 in all its glory (Autocar has driven it), but 'officially' VW still hasn't revealed the ID.4. As such, we'll have to go by the renders.
Regardless of whether you take the prototype as essentially representative of the production version or not, the ID.4 clearly shares its lineage with the ID.3 rather than ICE-powered Volkswagen SUVs. Its design is a mixture of both form and function, with minimising aerodynamic drag being extremely high on the priority list for the designers – as it is with any EV. The VW achieves a drag coefficient of 0.28.
Talking about the overall design, Head of VW Design, Klaus Zyciora, said: “Its exterior design is clean, flowing and powerful. It appears strong and self-confident in a new way. This is mainly due to the seamless, aerodynamic style of our ID. family, which we have transferred to the SUV segment for the first time with the ID.4. This means that gentle, soft transitions alternate with sharp, clear separating edges. The design looks as if shaped by the wind itself. At the same time, the modern look of the ID.4 can be seen by the characteristic headlights and the signature light between them.”
From what we've seen the ID.4 strikes a relatively conventional pose from the side-on and rear angles, sporting a heavily raked, low roofline and high waist preventing it from looking too upright – despite its SUV status. The front is a little gawky on the prototype, but we suspect this is mainly down to the last remaining camouflage, and some subtle changes will probably be made prior to launch.
Like the Enyaq iV, the ID.4 will get the latest 5.3 inch digital instrument cluster with head-up display and a standard 10 inch centre touchscreen. A 12 inch version of the central touchscreen will be available, as will the augmented, colour head-up display which is available on the ID.3. The dashboard itself is designed to be 'floating' with no links to the centre console.
VW is playing up the space afforded by the ID.4's electric powertrain and completely flat floor, with Zyciora stating; “The ID.4 brings a new sense of space to its category thanks to the MEB platform, our modular electric drive matrix.”
A high seating position should give a commanding view of the road as we'd expect from an SUV, and luggage space with the rear seats up stands at 543 litres. An optional tilting, panoramic sunroof adds to the feeling of space, whilst interior lighting can be configured to glow in any one of 30 different colours. Speaking of light, the ID. Light is a new feature on all ID models, constituting a light strip below the windscreen which displays lighting effects fer certain driver actions. For example, when the car is unlocked, locked, the drive system is active or to signal that a lane change is required.
Production at VW's Zwickau plant is already in action producing the ID.4, and will have the capacity to make 300,000 ID models in its first full year in 2021. The very first ID.4s will hit the UK market early next year, with mainland Europe getting theirs slightly before us.