For more than a decade, Volkswagen vehicles have been known worldwide for a variety of timeless designs built from a single common chassis. The MQB platform that forms the basic pieces of the Golf compact hatchback also underpins the seven-seat Volkswagen Atlas, and almost every other Volkswagen in between.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Volkswagen revealed another example of how it will take that same approach with electric vehicles, with the ID. SPACE VIZZION — a sleek concept crossover that previews a production electric vehicle coming to America.
Almost exactly as long as the new Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, but about 10 inches lower at the roofline, the ID. SPACE VIZZION concept has a long, luxury-like visual profile while still looking rugged. While the design draws from all previous ID. concepts, the ID. SPACE VIZZION evolves the look while adding a few new features. The new light-up VW logo sits proudly at the front tip of the hood, flanked by slim white LED strips. All of the lights on the car switch on when the driver approaches; the headlights can be animated to look as if they’re opening and closing like eyes.
Overall, the ID. SPACE VIZZION has been designed to maximize its aerodynamics. Several new surfaces keep air moving smoothly, such as a horizontal slot between the headlights and an integrated spoiler-type panel above the tailgate. The 22-inch wheels have special designs to minimize airflow disruption. The doors have no handles; instead, touch-sensitive haptic pads illuminate as soon as the car’s driver approaches. The result: a 0.24 coefficient of drag, making it sleeker than most production vehicles.
Inside, the ID. SPACE VIZZION seats four in limousine-like comfort with a sizable center console; the production version will likely offer a more traditional back seat. Most of the driving information is shown on a head-up display rather than a traditional instrument panel, and next to the driver sits a 15.6-inch touchscreen. All seating surfaces and some trim use a new material known as AppleSkin™ — which uses the byproduct of apple-juice making to create a fabric that feels like leather without any animal content.
Behind the seats the concept has a 20.7 cubic feet luggage compartment, like many SUVs, with two electric skateboards stowed underneath the storage floor that can be used to get you to the destination a car can’t take you, like the beach at Venice, California.
While the ID. SPACE VIZZION looks laid back, it can hustle when needed. Power comes from a 275-hp electric motor driving the rear wheels, drawing from an 82-kWh battery. An additional 101-hp motor on the front axle can provide all-wheel-drive capability and a combined peak output of 335 hp. This 4MOTION version of the ID. SPACE VIZZION can hit 60 mph in 5 seconds, with a projected range under U.S. testing standards of up to 300 miles.
Underneath all the design and technology, the ID. SPACE VIZZION relies on the same set of basic components as all other ID. concepts. Known as the modular electric toolkit, or MEB in its German acronym, Volkswagen expects the chassis to underpin about 20 million vehicles worldwide by 2029. That includes the upcoming production version of the ID. CROZZ concept and the production version of the ID. BUZZ concept revival of the Volkswagen Bus. After those two arrive, Americans may get a chance to sample a more spacious vision of an electric future.