Volkswagen ID. Space Vizzion concept unveiled at Los Angeles show
Volkswagen has taken the wraps off its latest electric concept – the ID. Space Vizzion – at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It describes the car, which appears to be a sleek five-door estate, as having "the aerodynamic properties of a Gran Turismo with the spacious proportions of an SUV".
According to Volkswagen, the Space Vizzion concept previews a production model that'll go on sale in North America and Europe by 2021. It's the latest in a string of concepts from the manufacturer's electric sub-brand, which also includes the ID. Crozz SUV (the basis of the upcoming ID.4), ID. Buzz minibus and and ID. Roomzz large SUV – all built on the group's MEB electric-car platform.
The Space Vizzion develops the earlier Vizzion concept, displayed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, which was a four-door saloon. Although this was initially believed to preview a high-end electric luxury car that would inherit the Phaeton name, Volkswagen now says that "just like the Passat" a saloon and estate version of the production model will be made, suggesting it'll be a more affordable large family car.
Volkswagen ID. Space Vizzion electric motor, battery, range and charging
Under the metal, the ID. Space Vizzion stores energy in an 82kWh battery (with a usable capacity of 77kWh), giving it an impressive potential driving range of up to 367 miles, according to the WLTP test procedure. It has 150kW charging capability, for a 0-80% percent top-up in 30 minutes.
A 275bhp motor on the rear axle is presented as the standard specification (giving the above driving range figure), while adding a 100bhp motor at the front gives a combined output of 335bhp and all-wheel drive. In the latter configuration, the Space Vizzion will accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds, with top speed limited to 109mph.
The battery and motors have been positioned in such a way as to give the Space Vizzion near-50:50 front-rear weight distribution, which promises better balance and handling.
As with many electric vehicles, the ID. Space Vizzion has seen close focus on aerodynamic efficiency in its design, which benefits driving range. Air enters through slats in the front bumper and passes through tunnels behind the 'grille' area (located where the engine would be in an internal-combustion car).
It then emerges from gaps in the bonnet and passes over the windscreen, along the roof and through a small gap between the roof and the rear wing, allowing for smooth, continuous airflow from the front to the rear of the car. There's also an aerodynamic diffuser at the lower rear of the car, and the 22-inch wheels fitted to the concept have aero flaps in order to optimise the airflow across their faces.
Up front, the ID. Space Vizzion boasts a slender white light strip, with an illuminated 'VW' logo at its centre. There are also 'IQ.LIGHT' LED matrix headlights integrated into the bumper, as well as honeycomb-style LED daytime running lights and a transparent red light strip that runs across the entire rear end of the car.
Instead of door handles, the concept has illuminated touch surfaces that become active when someone approaches with the car's key (or a paired smartphone) on their person. This further enhances the car's aerodynamic efficiency.
The ID. Space Vizzion is 4.9 metres long, 1.5 metres high and just under two metres wide; similar dimensions to the current Volkswagen Passat Estate.
The ID. Space Vizzion boasts a minimalist interior with a large landscape-orientated touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard – not unlike the arrangement found in the Tesla Model 3.
Cabin finishes are made from sustainable materials, including a plant-based leather alternative called 'AppleSkin', made from the residue of apple-juice production. Chrome-look paint is used instead of actual chrome and Alcantara edging also features.
For the driver, most information is displayed using an augmented reality (AR) head-up display, with the traditional cockpit display reduced to the status of a "secondary mini display showing only basic information". Controls on the steering column are used to select the drive mode (drive, energy recovery, reverse, neutral and park) and operate the indicators and windscreen wipers.
Elsewhere, an 'ID. Light' interactive light strip on the A-pillar can greet the driver on entry to the car, indicate when the motors are operational and display important navigation information and other prompts (such as an incoming phonecall) within the driver's peripheral vision. It also works in tandem with voice control to make operating the car's systems in this way more intuitive.
The ID. Space Vizzion concept is a four-seater, although it's highly likely a more conventional five-seat layout would be adopted for any production version. In the concept, a large fold-out centre console between the two rear seats contains storage areas, a drinks holder and USB ports.
In the 586-litre boot, Volkswagen has fitted the concept with electric longboards that are custom-fit to the boot area and double up as a raised boot floor when stored. Also included are helmets for use when riding the longboards, which Volkswagen says can be used as "last-mile electric street surfers".