The first electric car from Volkswagen for the American market will be the ID Crozz, a dual motor SUV-type vehicle that is scheduled to go on sale in 2020. The marketing campaign for the ID Crozz (at CleanTechnica we refuse to us the idiotic “ID.” designation the company has adopted as the official designation of the brand) began this week with a reveal of the car in Los Angeles.
The car shown is still designated as a prototype but its general dimensions and appearance are all pretty much fixed at this point. It will have a total of 302 horsepower from both motors and an expected range of 300 miles. Official EPA numbers and pricing details will be released closer to the on sale date.
Volkswagen says the ID Crozz can get recharge to 80% capacity in 30 minutes using a 150 kW charger. It’s no coincidence the chargers that Electrify America is installing along major transportation routes in the US include 150 kW chargers.
“Electric mobility is the future, period, and today we take a big step forward,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, head of Volkswagen Group of America. “The ID. CROZZ and the I.D. BUZZ concepts demonstrate how Volkswagen will kick off an EV revolution in America. The beauty of doing an all-new architecture is how much it can deliver to the customer.” The ID Crozz is built on VW’s all new MEB platform for electric cars.
The ID Crozz is a handsome vehicle. SUVs are all the rage these days and frankly they all tend to look alike. Squint a little and the new Peugeot 2008 bears more than a passing resemblance to the Volvo XC 40. The ID Crozz is somewhat different from its peers. For starters, it eschews the big grille in the front that has been the signature design element of cars with infernal combustion engines since forever.
It has a bit more of a sedan look in its side profile. But the most ambitious thing Volkswagen has done is not apparent at first glance. The ID Crozz features sliding rear doors, the very definition of every minivan on the planet. Elon Musk has a deep, abiding hatred of those sliding doors, which is why the Tesla Model X has those iconic but insanely complex falcon wing doors that delayed the debut of the X by more than a year.
Sliding doors are great for getting stuff into and out of vehicles easily. Since SUVs are all about hauling lots and lots of stuff, those doors should appeal strongly to buyers. But they also are burdened with the unfortunate “soccer mom” stigma. Putting sliders on an SUV should be a no brainer but will buyers embrace them or shun them because of their association with minivans?
Volkswagen has done an excellent job of designing sliders that don’t look like sliders until they are opened and they make access to the rear seat extra easy. They also make getting into a third row seat simple. Is Volkswagen planning on giving the ID Crozz a 7-passenger option? There’s no hint of third row seating in the photos but the Tesla Model Y will offer that option. Surely Volkswagen must be planning something similar?
The front doors also open a full 90 degrees, giving unparalleled access to the front seats, and the interior features a “floating” dashboard that does away with the traditional climate control/entertainment center stack, giving it a roomier appearance.
One thing that Tesla has is its famed Autopilot system. Surely Volkswagen will offer something similar on its electric cars, right? Absolutely, although more than a decade after Tesla first did so. Here’s more from the official press release.
“The ID. CROZZ also features Volkswagen’s I.D. Pilot self-driving system concept, planned for production in 2025. In self-driving mode, the steering wheel of the ID. CROZZ retracts into the dash, and the interior lights change color. Drivers can summon the I.D. Pilot by simple voice controls, and the concept system is designed to rely on four laser scanners that pop up from the roof of the ID. CROZZ, as well as ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, side area view cameras and a front camera.”
So, Lidar is part of the Volkswagen self-driving plan. Tesla refuses to add Lidar to its cars, claiming it is expensive and of limited value if the air outside is murky with rain, fog, snow, or smog. Whether Lidar goes mainstream in the future remains to be seen.
How much will one of these beauties cost? We have no idea yet, but Herr Woebcken offers this clue. “In order to make EVs cost competitive, electric vehicles have to be built at scale, and Volkswagen has the potential to deliver global scale in EVs quickly. We stand for making electric cars affordable; as we like to say, we build cars for millions, not millionaires.”
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