Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV 2021: specs, pictures and on-sale date

Images and technical details of the new Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV have appeared on a Chinese government website, ahead of its official unveiling

Volkswagen ID.4

Pictures and technical information concerning the new Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV have appeared on a Chinese government website, giving us by far our most detailed look yet at the next model in the ID line-up, following on from the ID.3 hatchback.

The images show white and grey ID.4s in front three-quarter and rear profiles. The white example wears a 'Crozz' badge on the tailgate, perhaps indicating a more rugged, off-road-biased variant of the car. A further collection of small images reveals the cars' side profiles and the operation of a panoramic glass roof, along with a variety of different wheel designs.

Technical information available alongside the images reveals that the ID.4 will be approximately 4.6 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, and 1.6 metres high, have a wheelbase of nearly 2.8 metres and weigh 2,600kg. A top speed of 99mph is quoted and the car's electric motor has a maximum output of 201bhp.

Optional equipment listed includes Matrix LED headlights, mood lighting, different-coloured roofs, a rear-view camera and a panoramic sunroof. It's possible some or all of these specifications relate to the Chinese-market version of the car, which will be built in the country by the SAIC-VW joint-venture company, and may differ to a degree for the European market.

Volkswagen has previously confirmed that production of the ID.4 will begin at the end of 2020, though that’s likely to be pushed back slightly due to the coronavirus pandemic. We expect a date of early 2021 is more feasible. The ID.4 will 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 ID.4 will also be sold in the US and Europe.

Volkswagen ID.4 specifications

The ID.4 will be similar in size to the Volkswagen Tiguan, and like its ID.3 sibling, is expected to be offered with a range of battery sizes, range and performance figures. Volkswagen says the ID.4 will initially be sold in rear-wheel-drive form only, with an all-wheel-drive version following in due course.

That's likely to mean an entry-level model with a 45kWh battery and around 148bhp, plus a longer-range 77kWh version with up to 201bhp. The former (depending on spec) is expected to return up to 205 miles' range in the hatchback, so expect a little less in the heavier SUV. The more powerful ID.4 model could return as much as 311 miles in good weather.

Until the Instagram leak, the ID.4 hadn't been seen without camouflage. However, even in official camouflaged shots released by Volkswagen, the distinct ID family styling is clear to see, with a familiar front end and recognisable lighting signature, complimented by a high beltline. It'll get a more upright front grille design than its sibling, making it look closer to combustion-engined Volkswagen SUVs such as the Tiguan and Touareg.

Volkswagen says that like the ID.3, the ID.4 will be carbon-neutral at the point of handover to the customer, with the brand having reduced CO2 emissions from manufacturing as much as possible, offsetting any remaining emissions through environmental programmes.

Exterior and interior 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.

Inside, the way the batteries are hidden away under the floor makes for a ‘lounge-like’ interior, says Volkswagen. There were just four seats in concept versions of the 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.

Electric motor, battery and charging

As is often the case with electric cars, the ID.4 will be available with four-wheel drive thanks to separate electric motors on the front and rear axles. A single-motor, rear-wheel-drive version will appear first, however. The ID.4 has been confirmed to have a range of more than 300 miles.

The ID.4 will be compatible with fast charging: bringing the batteries up to 80% 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.