It started at the Vizzion concept — a battery electric sedan from Volkswagen for those who don’t want an SUV, a truck, or a station wagon (shooting brake, if you live in the UK). Think of it as the the electric version of the Passat, Volkswagen’s big, comfy sedan that has been for sale since 1973. Many Americans may turn their noses up at the thought of driving a sedan, but there are many parts of the world where the four-door, three-box car is still highly thought of.
Now Volkswagen has officially taken the camouflage off the ID.7 sedan, which will go on sale in Europe and China later this year and in America in 2024. Built on the ubiquitous MEB chassis, the ID.7 is the company’s first global electric sedan for the upper midsize class. It has a projected range of 700 kilometers (WLTP), or 435 miles, as well as a spacious interior and premium technologies baked in.
It is also the first MEB-based vehicle to use the new, more powerful, and more efficient drive system developed in-house by Volkswagen. Taking all of its features together, the nearly 5-meter-long ID.7 is a comfortable limousine for long-distance travel and opens up a new segment for the ID. family, the company says.
Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, says in a press release: “With the ID.7 we are taking the next step in our electric offensive. The limousine offers a high level of comfort and long ranges. Already by 2026, we will offer the widest electric range of all manufacturers in Europe — from the entry level model for less than 25,000 euros up to the ID.7 as the new top model within the ID. family. Our goal is to achieve an electric car share of 80 per cent in Europe by 2030. As from 2033, Volkswagen will produce only electric vehicles in Europe.”
New Interior Concept From Volkswagen
Because electric cars create more room in the passenger compartment — they don’t have to make room for engines, transmissions, driveshafts, and the like — Volkswagen has used that to create an all new passenger experience for the ID.7. It stars with a new operating and display concept and exclusive equipment options inspired by feedback from its customers. (Some of the early reviews of he ID.3 gave the car failing grades in user friendliness.)
Improvements to the interior of the ID.7 include:
- a 38-centimeter (15 inch) infotainment touchscreen
- an augmented reality head-up display
- a new air conditioning operating concept integrated on the top level of the infotainment system as well as freely assignable favorites buttons
- a backlit touch slider
Imelda Labbé, board responsible for sales, marketing, and aftersales, says, “The ID.7 is an extremely important model for the Volkswagen brand in Europe, China and North America. The ID.7 offers an attractive package that will excite both existing and new Volkswagen customers all over the world. In this Volkswagen, we are offering premium technologies that impress through their exclusivity, premium comfort and high degree of everyday usability.”
The ID.7 features new massage seats and an panoramic sunroof with smart glass that can be switched between opaque and transparent settings by touch control or by voice commands using the new IDA voice assistant.The optional Climatronic front seats offer heating or cooling as required — a first for ID. branded electric cars from Volkswagen. There is also a drying function if you happen to be headed home from the beach in a wet bathing suit. A massage function is also available.
Other options include a 700 watt sound system from Harman Kardon that features 14 high-end speakers, including a center speaker in the front and a subwoofer mounted in the luggage compartment.
ID.7 ADAS Features
When it comes to digital driver assistance tools, the ID.7 has a full complement of them. Travel Assist with swarm data can take over lateral and longitudinal control of the ID.7 as needed. Volkswagen developed this feature together with CARIAD, the software company of Volkswagen Group. If desired, the ID.7 can also use Travel Assist to support assisted lane changing on multi-lane highways at speeds above 90 km/h. The driver must continue to monitor the road ahead, but the strain of driving is significantly reduced, the company says.
For parking, the Volkswagen ID.7 can independently perform assisted maneuvers in various ways such as parking with the “memory function,” which operates over a distance of up to 50 meters. While the automatic parking mode is in use, the driver can elect to remain seated in the ID.7 or monitor the parking procedure from outside the vehicle using the designated smartphone app.
The ID.7 will be produced in the Volkswagen factory in Emden, Germany, for the European and North American markets. In China, the corresponding ID.7 models will be produced locally. No pricing information has been released by the company as of yet.
The VW ID.7 Takeaway
The Volkswagen ID.7 is an amalgam of the ID. Vizzion sedan and ID. Space Vizzion station wagon concepts that have been seen on the auto show circuit since 2019. The final production model is toned down a bit from those show cars, of course, but what remains is an attractive, modern design that promises comfortable long-distance touring.
Converting kilometers to miles, the car should be capable of covering 435 miles on a single battery charge, thanks in large part to Volkswagen’s latest high-efficiency drive unit and thanks to a very respectable drag coefficient of 0.23. EPA range numbers are usually 15 to 20 percent lower than WLTP, but that still suggests the ID.7 will be able to travel up to 555 kilometers (345 miles) on a single charge. The company says the car can accept up to 200 kW of charging power when it comes time to plug in.
Around the geothermally heated spa at CleanTechnica headquarters, we are favorably impressed by the looks of the ID.7. It has clean, uncluttered lines, unlike some cars from Japan that have so many wrinkles, crinkles, creases, and crevices that they look like they have already been crash tested.
We think the ID.7 will be a hit in Europe and in China, where a spacious passenger cabin is considered a must. We are less sure about the reception the car will get in America, where drivers seem afraid to drive anything that isn’t an SUV, a truck, or a full-on off-road canyon carver. Sales of the Passat in America were never that strong and have gotten weaker over time.
The fact that Volkswagen has no plans to produce the car in America probably speaks volumes about the company’s expectations. No matter how much the Biden administration relaxes the rules for battery materials and components, the ID.7 will not qualify for EV tax credits if its final assembly does not take place in North America. That means it will have a hard time competing with Tesla, which currently dominates US electric car sales.
We would love to see this car spark a resurgence in sales of sedans in America, but we know that is not very likely, given American tastes in automobiles these days. That’s a shame because the ID.7, from everything we see and have read about it, is a world class car.
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