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

New electric SUV based on the same platform as the ID.3 hatchback starts from just under €50,000 in Germany

Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen has released official pictures and full details of the ID.4 SUV. It's the second model to be released by the company's 'ID' electric sub-brand after the ID.3 hatchback; both are based on the company's 'MEB' electric-car platform, which also underpins the closely related Skoda Enyaq iV family SUV.

Initially, the ID.4 will be offered in its home market of Germany in either '1ST' or 1ST Max' specification, costing €49,950 and €59,950 respectively, before any government incentives. Those amounts convert to approximately £45,000 and £55,000 at the time of writing – however exact UK pricing and specifications have yet to be officially confirmed.

Sales of those launch models will commence in late 2020, with wider availability in other markets expected by early 2021. The ID.4 is set to be Volkswagen's first 'global' electric car, with production and sales happening in Europe, the US and China. The company is expected to offer a similar range of 'equipment packs' as can be added to the ID.3 hatchback. 

Volkswagen makes the same 'carbon neutral at the point of handover' guarantee for the ID.4 as it does for the ID.3, with emissions arising from the car's production at the Zwickau factory either eliminated or offset by the company.

DrivingElectric has already had a drive in a near-production prototype ID.4 on the roads of its native Germany – find out what we thought of it here. A larger Volkswagen ID.6 electric SUV is in the works, too.

Volkswagen ID.4 electric motor, battery, performance, charging and range

Like the ID.3, the ID.4 will eventually be available with a range of drivetrains, offering different combinations of price, battery size, range and performance. Both the 1ST and 1ST Max get the 'ProPerformance' drivetrain, which consists of a 201bhp electric motor, delivering a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 99mph.

The two ID.4 1ST models get a 77kWh battery, for a 323-mile driving range. Volkswagen hasn't officially indicated other battery sizes will be offered in the ID.4, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see it get the 58kWh battery that's standard in the ID.3, and possibly even the 45kWh unit set to be offered in the entry-level ID.3.

Charging speed maxes out at 125kW if you can find a fast enough charging point; at that rate, VW says, the ID.4's battery can be topped up to 80% capacity (good for 200 miles' driving) in about half an hour. All Volkswagen ID batteries are guaranteed to retain at least 70% of their original capacity for eight years or 160,000 kilometres (just under 100,000 miles).

Volkswagen says a more powerful (and no doubt more expensive) range-topping ID.4 with four-wheel drive will be added to the range at some point in 2021, while the company also claims that the ID.4's low centre of gravity (thanks to its low-mounted battery pack) ensures "comfortable and agile" driving characteristics. The SUV has a 10.2-metre turning circle – identical to that of the smaller ID.3 hatchback.

The more expensive ID.4 1ST Max launch model comes with Volkswagen's DCC adaptive chassis control system, which allows you to select from one of three driving modes – Eco, Comfort and Individual – with the latter allowing various parameters such as throttle response and suspension stiffness to be tweaked to your preferences.

On the road, the ID.4 launch models employ a range of driver-assistance systems bundled together under the 'IQ.Drive' banner. These include parking sensors, lane-keeping assistance, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, while there's also an 'Eco Assistance' function that prompts the driver to ease off the accelerator at appropriate times to aid efficiency.

Volkswagen ID.4

Exterior design

Volkswagen describes the ID.4 as having a "powerful and confident appearance", with plenty of "flowing and strong lines" in its design. An undulating line flows down the side of the car from the edge of the headlights all the way to the rearmost window pillar, while dark cladding lower down gives the ID.4 a tough, off-road-capable look. 

In common with the ID.3, it has no radiator grille due to there being no need for engine cooling, while contrasting roof colours and a silvered strip over the windows (the latter part of an optional 'Exterior Style Pack') complete the car's major styling features.

Alloy-wheel sizes of up to 21 inches will be offered, while both the 1ST and 1ST Max specifications come with a towing bracket and roof rails. The 1ST Max also features a panoramic glass roof and powered tailgate opening, while up front it has VW's 'IQ.Light' LED matrix headlights and the tail-light clusters are LEDs, too.

Colours available on the ID.4 1ST and ID.4 1ST Max at launch include Blue Dusk Metallic, Glacier White Metallic, Honey Yellow Metallic and Manganese Grey Metallic. Exterior dimensions are 4,584mm (length), 1,852mm (width) and 1,612mm (height).

Volkswagen ID.4

Interior, technology and practicality

Volkswagen says that thanks to its long wheelbase, the ID.4 offers as much interior space as a model from the class above. The 1ST-spec cars available initially at launch get microfibre velour seat trim finished in Platinum Grey – a colour also found on the door trims and dashboard panelling. The steering column and wheel can be finished in either Piano Black or Electric White.

Most of the car's functions are controlled by touchscreen interfaces, with a main screen size of up to 12 inches depending on trim level. This operates features such as the sat nav, phone connectivity and driver assistance systems, while there's also a compact display directly in the driver's field of view that displays the most important information, selectable using steering-wheel-mounted controls.

An augmented-reality head-up display will be among the optional features that can be added, while the whole system can also be voice controlled. Connecting an Apple or Android smartphone is also possible thanks to the presence of VW's App Connect software, while 'over-the-air' software updates allow for bug fixes or enhanced features to be carried out without having to visit a dealership.

Volkswagen says the ID.4's boot will hold up to 543 litres of luggage with all seats in place, increasing to 1,575 litres when the rear seats are folded down and the car is loaded to the roof. As mentioned above, a powered tailgate is standard on the ID.4 1ST Max trim level, while a luggage net, partitions and variable boot floor also aid versatility. Finally, an optional towing bracket allows the ID.4 to haul a braked trailer or caravan weighing up to 1,000kg.

Volkswagen ID.4

Trim levels and standard equipment

The ID.4 1ST (the cheaper of the two launch models, at €49,950 before incentives in Germany) sits on 20-inch alloy wheels, sports the Exterior Style Pack and gets heated front seats, multi-colour ambient lighting, stainless-steel pedals, a rear-view camera, two-zone climate control, a heated windscreen, Discover Pro sat nav, four USB ports, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance.

The more expensive ID.4 1ST Max (€59,950 before incentives in Germany) adds to this with LED front and rear light clusters, 21-inch alloys, the adaptive chassis control system, power-adjustable seats, a panoramic glass sunroof, acoustic glass, three-zone climate control, a powered bootlid, a 12-inch dashboard screen (up from 10 inches) and an augmented-reality head-up display.

Volkswagen is limiting production of those two versions to 27,000 units in total; the full line-up will be confirmed in due course. A cheaper and less lavishly equipped entry-level model is expected, along with a larger range of equipment packs to choose from, in the mold of the ID.3's Life, Style, Business, Family, Tech and Max offerings.