We already know broadly what the Volkswagen ID.4 will look like and the powertrain options it will come with, but Volkswagen has now finally launched it to the world. Coming out of the factory with a carbon-neutral balance, the ID.4 is the first VW designed as a 'global' electric car destined to be sold in markets across the world.
That global ambition is the reason why the ID.4 has taken on the form of a compact SUV. In China and the USA, as well as Europe, compact SUVs sell like hot cakes, so unlike the Europe-only ID.3, VW knows it can guarantee sales elsewhere.
Whilst there will be a range of ID.4 powertrain options in due course, at launch the headline figures are a 77kWh battery, combined with a 201bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels providing a range of up to 323 miles. Acceleration to 62mph in this guise takes 8.5 seconds and will send the ID.4 on to a top speed of 99mph. Whilst hardly something that anyone is going to take off road, 21cm of ground clearance mean that the ID.4 should be able to conquer the odd kerb or unpaved driveway without too much trouble.
Charging can be undertaken at a maximum DC input of 125kW, dishing up 200 miles of range in around 30 minutes. VW is launching a full-service charging scheme called We Charge alongside the ID.4. Forming part of the sustainable 'ecosystem' surrounding the ID. models and helping to maintain their carbon-neutral balance, it will provide both home and public charging solutions, such as access to the IONITY ultra-rapid charging network.
In the UK, VW has teamed up with Octopus Energy to offer a point-of-sale, 100 per cent renewable energy deal to ID. customers. Using the Octopus Go tariff, customers will benefit from 5p/kWh energy between 00:30 and 04:30 each night, making overnight top-ups very cost-effective. What's more, those who do take up the offer will get £90 credit, which is potentially worth a couple of thousand miles of driving. Whilst the deal is most conspicuous in being launched at the same time as the ID.4, buyers of EVs from other VW Group brands – Audi, SEAT, and Škoda – will be eligible.
As recently as a couple of weeks ago Volkswagen released renders of the exterior of the ID.4. Whilst we knew broadly what it actually looked like (thanks to other outlets driving a prototype) it was still sporting camouflage. Now, with that camo removed, we get to see the ID.4 in all its glory.
VW says that the ID.4 has 'athletic proportions' and a clear, flowing design which has helped them achieve a slippery drag coefficient of just 0.28. Up front is where we see the biggest difference when compared to the prototype, with the full-width detail revealed. The lights are LEDs as standard, with interactive IQ.Lights available on higher-spec versions and offering intelligent beam control. New 3D LED tail lamps round off the rear of the car, whilst wheels of up to 21 inches give it presence in profile.
At 4.58 metres long, the ID.4 is slightly longer than the ID.3 with which it shares VW's modular electric drive matrix (MEB) architecture. According to VW, the room in the cabin is more akin to that found in SUVs of the next segment up with premium materials continuing that feeling. In terms of luggage space, with the seats up the ID.4 has 543 litres which expands to 1575 litres with the rear seats stowed.
VW has done away with most of the button controls in the ID.4 with most of the car's functions controlled by a standard 10 inch central touchscreen with an optional 12 inch version available. The driver's display consists of a 5.3 inch digital cluster with head-up display. Also new on the ID.4 is the new ID.Light – a light strip at the base of the windscreen which supports various car functions using light cues. You can learn more about the interior in our previous story.
Update 28.01.21: The Volkswagen ID.4 is available to order from now. Initially it is only available in ID.4 1st Edition spec, which costs £37,800 after the plug-in car grant. The 1st Edition gets the 201bhp motor and 77kWh battery for a range of 310 miles as well as plenty of standard kit such as 20 inch wheels, LED head and tail lamps, 10 inch infotainment screen, 30-colour ambient lighting, adaptive cruise, lane assist and much more. It is available in four metallic colours and has ‘1st’ badging to denote the car’s limited-edition status.
Deliveries will begin in March, and VW will release the details of ID.4 series models in due course.
To tickle your fancy, here's VW's launch video.