Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV 2020: specs, pictures and on-sale date

Volkswagen’s family of electric vehicles will grow again in 2020 with the arrival of the ID.4 SUV

Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV

The new Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV has been photographed during cold-weather testing, wearing a partial disguise. The pictures show an overall shape similar to the ID.3 hatchback, but the ID.4 is clearly scaled-up to offer a larger interior.

The rear window line curves up more sharply towards the back of the car than it does on the ID.3. At the front, the signature ID. headlight shape is present, although the ID.4 test car is wearing a disguise over its front grille to obscure the final design of its front end, making it resemble a Vauxhall Grandland X.

A camouflaged display model seen at Volkswagen's recent New Brand Design event in Guangzhou, China, revealed that the ID.4 will have a more upright front grille design than its ID.3 sibling, making it look closer to combustion-engined Volkswagen SUVs such as the Tiguan. 

Volkswagen has previously confirmed that production of the ID. 4 will begin at the end of 2020. It'll also be the first vehicle based on Volkswagen Group's MEB electric-car platform to be sold in China, with nine further models set to reach the country's market by 2023.

The camouflaged ID.4 seen at Guangzhou was first displayed in public at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, enclosed in a smoked display case. The production version sees the coupe-inspired rear liftback of the ID.Crozz concept replaced with a more conventional – and practical – tailgate.

The B-pillars and door mirrors that were missing from the ID.Crozz were reinstated on this version, too. It also gets the ID. styling cues that premiered on the ID.3 and the Crozz concept: ID. running lights, LED headlights and a blanked-off radiator grille, as well as the raked windscreen from the concept and the rugged black plastic mouldings for the side skirts and wheelarches.

Volkswagen ID.4 design

Like the ID.3, the ID.4 is based on Volkswagen's MEB platform, which has been designed from the off to underpin a wide range of electric cars. Whereas the ID.3 has a regular five-door hatchback shape, the ID.4 is quite different – part-coupe, part-SUV. It sits a little higher off the ground and has a sleeker body than the ID.3.

There have been a couple of ID.4 concepts, but the second – the Crozz II from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show – is believed to give the best idea of what the finished production car will look like.

Inside, the way the batteries are hidden away under the floor makes for a ‘lounge-like’ interior, says Volkswagen. There are just four seats in the concept car, while the dashboard is fully digital and can be operated by voice or gesture control, and a 515-litre boot ensures the car is pretty practical.

Powertrain

As is often the case with electric cars, the ID.4 will have four-wheel drive thanks to separate electric motors on the front and rear axles. Between them, they have a maximum output of just over 300bhp, and the ID.4 is said to have a range of more than 300 miles.

What’s more, it'll be compatible with fast charging: bringing the batteries up to 80% charge from flat will take just 30 minutes from a suitable charger. The battery packs are modular, too, which means Volkswagen could take a leaf out of Tesla’s book and offer the ID.4 with a range of different capacities – as it's doing with the ID.3

We’ve yet to drive the ID.4, even as a concept, but Volkswagen proudly says the car will be as good across country as it is in town. And, thanks to near-50:50 weight distribution, it’s expected to handle as sharply as a Golf GTI.