Volkswagen has teased the latest addition to its I.D. electric car division, which it calls the Vizzion (which presumably is pronounced very much like the English word “vision”). It will be featured on the company’s stand at the Geneva auto show next month. We don’t normally cover concept cars here. We prefer to wait until they are revealed and all their specs are known, but the Vizzion hints at so much new thinking at Volkswagen’s world headquarters in Wolfsburg that it deserves a bit of coverage before the show opens.
The collection of teaser photos Volkswagen released this week shows a car with no steering wheel, pedals, or other controls meant to be operated by humans. It also features what has now become de rigeur for concept vehicles these days — back doors hinged at the rear and no B pillar in the middle of the car. Someday, such a design may actually make it into production. Doors matter to people. The prospect of a wide open interior with rear seats that can be accessed by normal people who are not practicing contortionists is exciting. Excitement builds sales. People buy on emotion and justify their decisions later with facts. Build it, Volkswagen, and they will come.
The company boasts the Vizzion will feature an 111 kWh battery that will allow it to travel up to 413 miles on a single charge. That number is computed using the European test cycle. Deduct about 25% to arrive at the likely EPA equivalent. The electric motor will have more than 300 horsepower and the car will be able to cruise along at speeds up to 112 mph.
People who don’t have to actually drive will wish to be entertained during their journeys, and the Vizzion will offer a wealth of creature comforts and diversions befitting a self-driving, all-electric car of the future. Whooshing along in hushed silence, the “vehicle guests,” as Volkswagen calls them, will be able — in the words of Simon & Garfunkel — to “speak of things that matter with words that must be said. Can analysis be worthwhile? Is the theater really dead?” The car will be guided by gestures and voice commands alone. No need to actually touch anything or do anything. Oh, what a happy prospect.
The Vizzion is expected to be the fourth all-electric car offered by the I.D. sub-brand, following the I.D., the Crozz, and the Buzz. Volkswagen marketing types seem to be obsessed with the letter “z” these days, although there is no truth to the rumor that the company plans a special vehicle for police departments known as the Fuzz. The target date for production is 2025, by which time the company says it will have 20 all-electric models in its product lineup, thanks to a $40 billion R&D program. We will update this story after the Vizzion has its official coming out party in Geneva in a few weeks.
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