Volkswagen officially unveiled the ID.5 and ID.5 GTX in Germany today. The new models are a variation of the ID.4 and ID.4 GTX cars already on sale in most countries, but with a more svelte and swoopy roofline that appeals to many of today’s buyers who want to pretend their hulking people-hauler is really a sportscar.
Apart from more dynamic styling, the ID.5 is the first to come from the factory with an operating system that uses version 3.0 of Volkswagen’s automotive software. Up until now, many ID.3 and ID.4 owners have complained of clunky voice activation and navigation systems, glitches the company says (hopes) have been cured by the updated software.
“The new software generation 3.0 allows for over-the-air updates and activation of additional functions, so that the ID.5 can stay up-to-date for a long time. Innovative assistance systems such as Travel Assist with swarm data allow for an even more relaxed and predictive driving experience. The new optional Park Assist Plus with memory function will take care of personalised parking processes on request,” according to Volkswagen. “With the use of swarm data and latest-generation driver assistance systems, Volkswagen is also taking the next step towards automated driving.”
Version 3.0 software features various improvements including natural voice control. It is now learning-enabled and provides online access to information from the Cloud. We Connect services provide the driver with real-time online traffic information, online map updates, information about charging stations, web radio and much more.
With Car2X communication, data from compatible vehicles in the Volkswagen fleet and signals from infrastructure within a radius of up to 800 metres can be locally interpreted in a fraction of a second, enabling driver alerts about dangerous areas, accidents and stationary traffic. The ID. Light in the cockpit helps by providing visual warnings, the company says.
“The ID.5 is electric, sporty and elegant. Our premium SUV coupé with all-electric drive marks another milestone in our ACCELERATE strategy,” says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand. “It offers locally carbon-neutral driving enjoyment for a discerning customer group. We are breaking into a completely new market segment with this model.”
The ID.5 is built on the Volkswagen’s ubiquitous MEB electric car platform. “The ID.5 is the body style of the future: aerodynamic, expressive, sporty and — thanks to MEB — with short overhangs,” says Jozef Kabaň, head of design for Volkswagen. “That’s how we have been able to ensure a spacious interior despite the dynamic roof line – this simply wasn’t possible before.”
The 4.6-meter-long ID.5 will be available in 2022. It comes with one rear-mounted motor, while the GTX features dual motors. We presume range and performance are virtually identical to the corresponding single and dual motor versions of the ID.4, although Volkswagen has not released performance specifications as of yet.
“The electronic Vehicle Dynamics Manager is a groundbreaking development by Volkswagen,” says Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. “We have networked it with other important control systems, and it is also integrated with the all-wheel control function. This brings an entirely new level of sporty driving pleasure, traction and driving safety.”
For more about interior appointments and features (a heads-up display is optional), please feel free to feast your eyes on the glowing public relations language in the company’s press release, which revels in the fact that the interior ambient lighting system offers a choice of 30 colors. Zowie! Suffice it to say, the ID.5 is the next step in Volkswagen’s program to convert most of the cars it manufactures to battery electric power.
Volkswagen says its We Charge charging system is the fastest growing and most environmentally friendly system for convenient, networked and sustainable charging. It has around 250,000 charging points all across Europe. Using the standard Mode 3 cable, the ID.5 can be charged with up to 11 kW of alternating current. Charging performance can reach up to 135 kW using a DC fast charger.
What Is A Coupé?
The company calls the ID.5 an SUV coupé, which is a bit of an oxymoron. Coupé in French literally means “cut,” as in shortened. In the early days of the automobile, cars came with a long chassis capable of accommodating two or three rows of seats with a chauffeur out front and a large cargo compartment at the rear as standard.
Long wheelbase cars may be fine for limousines, but not so fine for cars with sporting intentions. Many of those long, long chassis were shortened to make sportscars. The frame was literally cut in half, a large section in the middle was removed, and then what was left over was welded back together. Usually the shortened frame was topped with a two seats — one for the driver and one for the passenger. Most other amenities were eliminated in order to reduce weight and improve handling in the twisty bits. Whee!
Volkswagen is adept at finding out what its customers want and giving it to them. What they want is automobiles that look somewhat sporty with long, tapering rooflines, even though that compromises the cargo carrying ability that is supposed to be the raison d’être for sport utility vehicles in the first place.
Marketing doesn’t have to make sense and Volkswagen will probably sell tons of these so-called SUV coupés. If sloping rooflines are what it takes to get people into electric cars, so be it.