As we reported this week, Volkswagen is making big strides forward in its plan to produce millions of electric cars in coming years. Its designs are highly appealing, its engineering world class, and its marketing top notch. If there is one flaw in its EV campaign, it is its passion for coming up with names that strain to be oh-so-cool.
Here’s a tip, fellas. Drop the capital letters and the multiple zees in the names of your electric cars. So far, we have been treated to the ID. BUZZ, ID. CROZZ, ID. VIZZION, and ID. ROOMZZ. And while you’re at it, get rid of that “.” in the branding. It looks stupid and makes journalists trying to write about all the good things happening with the company crazy! I.don’t.like.adding.it.to.every.story!
That being said, Volkswagen has released design sketches of the 7th model it intends to build on the MEB electric car platform. The car is known for the time being as the ID. SPACE VIZZION. Gorgeous car, awful name! This is no mere design exercise, Volkswagen says in a press release. “The production version will be released in late 2021, and will come in different versions for North America, Europe and China.”
Here are more details from the company: “Volkswagen will debut the ID. SPACE VIZZION to the world on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19th 2019 — a zero-emissions vehicle for a new era, new thinking and new mobility. The ID. SPACE VIZZION is a wagon of tomorrow that combines the aerodynamic characteristics of a Gran Turismo with the spaciousness of an SUV. Stylistically, the ID. SPACE VIZZION follows the design DNA of the ID. family, yet has a completely independent and progressive character.”
Okay, Volkswagen is placing a bet that people will buy station wagons again. Personally, I love wagons and have ever since the Chevy Nomad rocked the car world in 1955. They are very popular in Europe but about as welcome as three-day-old fish in America. What the Chinese think about them I have no idea. This particular iteration is handsome in a way that few cars today can match. It should sell well, but in a world that has gone mad for SUVs, who knows? If it seats 7, that may help.
“So far, with our ID. family, we have shown what is possible with electric vehicles in each known car category. With the ID. SPACE VIZZION we create a new, fully electric segment,” says Klaus Bischoff, head of Volkswagen Design. The ID. is based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, which fully exploits the technical possibilities of e-mobility and guarantees long ranges, dynamic driving performance and a whole new level of digital networking, the company says.
Peering inside, it looks as though Volkswagen has decided to emulate the interior of the Tesla Model 3, demonstrating once again how quickly the innovations pioneered by the Muskateers in Silicon Valley have disrupted the thinking of traditional automakers.
The press release adds some important details.
“When it comes to the design, the front and roof sections are particularly precise, with openings for the airstream for aerodynamically optimal design. Thanks to the efficiency of the drive system and impressive aerodynamics, the ID. SPACE VIZZION has a range of up to 590 kilometers (WLTP) or 300 miles (EPA).
“Inside, the study defines a completely new paradigm of intuitive usability with its completely digitized cockpit. The materials are consistently made from sustainable raw materials, such as the new AppleSkin™, an artificial leather with a proportion of residual matter from apple juice production.”
CleanTechnica will have several ace reporters on the ground in LA to bring you more news about the ID. SPACE VIZZION.
Now for some speculation. At Zwickau, I was told the MEB chassis will accommodate 3 different size batteries — 82 kWh, 62 kWh, and 48 kWh. That suggests this car will have a 300 mile range from the largest of those batteries — impressive efficiency, if true. It also suggests that less expensive versions could come with smaller battery packs. The middle battery could give the car an EPA range of about 240 miles — more than adequate for many drivers.
I showed the design sketches to my wife, who reacted exactly as I thought she would. “Ugh! A station wagon? Not interested.” I don’t get why Americans hold station wagons in such low regard. Perhaps if we called them shooting brakes the way the English do, they would find a wider audience. Maybe it’s just me, but I happen to find this design very appealing. Your mileage may vary. See dealer for details!