New Volkswagen ID.7 is a 435-mile Tesla Model 3 rival
Volkswagen’s electric Passat gets a sleek saloon silhouette – and there's a hot GTX version on the way
The Volkswagen ID.7 was revealed a matter of weeks ago, but already the maker has confirmed a hot GTX version – following in the footsteps of the faster ID.4 GTX and ID.5 GTX – is on the cards. The souped-up saloon will be revealed in full at the Munich Motor Show in September.
Very little is known about the ID.7 GTX at this time, although Volkswagen has confirmed the car will get the brand's "latest drive generation" technology and a dual-motor powertrain. We expect the saloon model to lift the ID.4 and ID.5's 296bhp setup unchanged, though there's a chance power may be bumped to 335bhp – as rumoured for the forthcoming Volkswagen ID. Buzz GTX.
We do know the ID.7 GTX will get "red GTX contrast stitching on the seats, dash panel and doors", matched to gloss black elements for the exterior including a standard-fit black roof and tinted windows. Expect larger alloy wheels – possibly having a detrimental effect on the standard car's 435-mile range.
Volkswagen ID.7 range, battery and charging
The Volkswagen ID.7 is a zero-emissions saloon billed by the brand as a range ‘flagship’ – with a target range of up to 435 miles. It is designed to rival the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Polestar 2. We’ve already driven a prototype – read on for our first impressions.
That aforementioned target range is 60 miles further than a Model 3 Long Range can cover on a charge. This comes courtesy of an 82kWh battery in the ID.7 Pro S model, which will be available a short time after launch.
When the new car goes on sale in the summer, the only version available to buyers will be the ID.7 Pro model, which utilises a slightly smaller 77kWh battery – the same size as the one fitted to the Volkswagen ID.4 Pro – and, according to VW, will offer a range of up to 382 miles. This still trumps the big battery Tesla.
Motor and performance
One way the Volkswagen ID.7 will achieve this Tesla-toppling range figure is by using a less-powerful electric motor than its American rival; as standard, the ID.7 will be powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 282bhp.
Exact figures are yet to be revealed, but we expect this setup to propel the electric VW saloon from 0-62mph in around six seconds. If you’re after more speed, a high-performance dual-motor GTX model is due to be revealed at the Munich Motor Show in September.
Design, specification and price
Of course, the ID.7’s projected range wouldn’t be possible without the car’s sleek silhouette. Like the BMW i4, the ID.7 adopts a ‘fastback’ bodystyle, with a sloping roofline and hatchback bootlid. Several tie-ins to other models in Volkswagen’s ‘ID.’ electric car range can be found in the form of a front LED light bar and flush door handles. The latter, along with some specially-designed wheels, should help reduce the ID.7’s drag coefficient even further.
On the inside, the ID.7 debuts the next generation of VW electric car interiors, all centering around a large 15-inch touchscreen. This controls the majority of the car’s functions and is paired with a small digital instrument cluster and ‘augmented reality’ head-up display.
Illumination plays a big role in making the ID.7’s interior feel a step up from other electric VWs such as the ID.5 coupe-SUV: there’s four-stage ambient lighting, while the touch-sensitive climate controls are now backlit – unlike on the smaller ID.3 hatchback. An optional panoramic sunroof is designed to bring natural light into the cabin, and can be made opaque at the press of a button thanks to a ‘polymer-dispersed liquid crystal’ construction.
The ID.7 measures 4.94 metres long, 1.86 metres wide and 1.53 metres tall, making it larger than its chief rival, the Model 3. The ID.7’s 2.97-metre wheelbase is longer, too, which should pay dividends when it comes to cabin space.
Strip away the svelte bodywork and you’ll find the ID.7 sits on the same MEB underpinnings as every other electric Volkswagen – including the ID. Buzz minibus. This allows for DC ultra-rapid charging of up to 200kW in range-topping ‘Pro S’ models – the fastest of any current Volkswagen EV – and up to 170kW for the regular ‘Pro’ variant. Charge times are yet to be determined, but we expect a 10-80% top-up will be possible in under half an hour.
As mentioned, the Volkswagen ID.7 will go on sale in the UK this year in the summer. Exact numbers are yet to be confirmed, but a starting price of just under £50,000 would make the plug-in VW competitive with its main rivals – namely the Model 3. We can expect the flagship GTX model to command a significant premium of £5,000-£10,000.
Volkswagen ID.7 prototype drive
We were excited to get the call to drive the ID.7 as, from the sounds of things, Volkswagen has appeared to address many of the issues that have plagued the rest of its ID-badged lineup. The car we got to drive was described by the team from VW as “90 to 95% finished”, so in other words, it’ll give us a good idea on what we can expect from the production model when we get to drive it later this year.
First things first, we must address the material quality of the cabin, as we’ve slated previous electric VWs for being littered with plastic trim that is more befitting a £40 Fisher Price toy than they are a £40k electric car. Thankfully, things have improved for the ID.7, with plenty of soft-touch materials dressing a more intelligently thought-out cockpit. Volkswagen also claims that the ID.7’s ergoPremium seats are constructed using up to 70% recycled materials, with the brand aiming to go fully animal-free sometime in the near future.
Past grievances aside, getting out on the road it’s clear from the outset that Volkswagen has designed the ID.7 to be as comfortable as possible, which is ideal given its projected 435-mile range allows for much longer motorway stints than most other electric cars. The steering is disconcertingly light, however; switch the car into Sport mode and things weight up nicely.
Despite its supple suspension, the ID.7 is composed in the corners, with very little body lean. This, partnered with an ability to change direction quickly means we think it could offer a decent level of enjoyment down a twisty road.
The car we drove was powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 282bhp. On what is essentially the ID.7’s petrol-powered counterpart, the Arteon, this figure would be rather impressive. However, on the two-tonne-plus ID.7, it can only be described as ‘adequate’.
Unlike most electric cars that deliver all their power instantly, the ID.7 accelerates in a more progressive, almost combustion engine-like fashion – something we’re sure many owners unfamiliar with EVs will like. Regardless, we expect this model to be the biggest seller, with a dual-motor variant with more power destined to arrive soon.
For now, all the signs seem to be pointing towards the ID.7 being a strong rival for the pre-established Tesla, Polestar, Hyundai – and even, to an extent, BMW – competition. Only time will tell whether it will be able to pave the way for future success for the German stalwart in the electric car market – something of particular importance, given 10 new Volkswagen EVs are expected to arrive by 2026.
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