Volkswagen Strips Down Its Vizzion, Promises a Semi-conventional Sedan

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen strips down its vizzion promises a semi conventional sedan

Volkswagen’s Vizzion of the future — a fully autonomous concept car with an all-knowing hologram chauffeur and suicide doors — just came back down to Earth. The sedan will now start life as a normal car, albeit one with two electric motors and all-wheel drive.

Positioned as the flagship of Volkswagen’s upcoming line of I.D.-badged electric models, the Vizzion is on track to start production in 2022. With this car, VW gains a lower-priced alternative to vehicles like Tesla’s Model S and Porsche’s Mission E.

As we told you recently, the Vizzion concept makes a lot of promises it can’t follow through on. Not yet, anyway. Production vehicles with full Level 5 autonomy, controlled by gestures and voice commands, are still the stuff of future-speak mobility conferences, not the real world.

However, while VW still intends to install the capability once it becomes available, the Vizzion remains useful as a conventional electric car. VW brand chief Herbert Diess told media at the Geneva Motor Show that the production version, due no later than 2022, will carry over the styling cues of the concept. Again, there’ll be no suicide doors in this model’s future (blame cost savings, development chief Frank Welsch said), but expect a fastback design and spacious cabin.

Diess claims the long-wheelbase model is smaller in size than a Phaeton, but the positioning of the propulsion kit means there’s extra room inside. Even the trunk stands to gain space, with 20 cubic feet of cargo volume.

Below the Vizzion in VW’s EV food chain is the compact I.D. hatch, the I.D. Crozz crossover, and the I.D. Buzz microbus (God, these names are tedious), each riding atop VW’s electric MEB platform. The Vizzion’s massive, 111 kWH battery lies flat below the vehicle’s floor. Total output from both electric motors amounts to 302 horsepower and a pile of torque available from a standstill, all funneled through both axles. While 413 miles of range sounds outstanding, that’s based on the unrealistic European cycle. Expect around 300 miles instead.

It looks like the production version of the Vizzion should roll out after the launch of the latter-day microbus. The first I.D.-badged vehicles, the I.D. and I.D. Crozz, enter production in 2020.

[Source: Automotive News Europe] [Images: Volkswagen Group]

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  • Laszlo I own a 1969 falcon futura 4 door hardtop, original inline 6 and c4 transmission and it still runs to this day.
  • BklynPete So let's get this straight: Ford hyped up the Bronco for 3 years, yet couldn't launch it to match the crazy initial demand. They released it with numerous QC issues, made hay for its greedy dealers, and burned customers in the process. After all that, they lose money on warranties. The vehicles turn out to be a worse ownership experience than the Jeep Wrangler, which hasn't been a paragon of reliability for 50 years. The same was true of the Aviator, Explorer, several F-150 variants, and other recent product launches. The Maverick is the only thing they got right. Yet this company that's been at it for 120 years. Just Brilliant. Jim Farley's non-PR speak: "You don't get to call me an idiot. I get to call myself an idiot first."Farley truly seems hapless, like the characters his late cousin played. Bill Ford is a nice guy but more than a bit slow on the uptake too. They have not had anything resembling a quality CEO since Alan Mulally turned the keys over to Mark Fields - the mulleted glamor boy who got canned after 3 years when the PowerShi(f)t transaxles exploded. He more recently helped run Hertz into the ground with bad QC and a faulty database that had them arresting customers. Ford is starting to resemble Chrysler in the mid-Seventies Sales Bank era. Well, at least VW has cash and envies Ford's distribution reach and potential profitability.
  • Mike Beranek This guy called and wants his business model back.
  • SCE to AUX The solid state battery is vaporware.As for software-limited pack capacity: Batteries are obviously the most expensive component of an EV, so on the rare occasion that pack capacity is dramatically limited (as in your 6-year-old example), it's because economies of scale briefly made sense at the time.Mfrs are not in the habit of overbuilding pack capacity just for fun, and then charging the customer less.Since then, pack capacities have been slightly increased via software because the mfr decides they can sacrifice a little bit of the normal safety/wear margin in the interest of range. We're talking single-digit percentages, not the 60/75 kWh jump in your example.Every pack has maybe 10% margin built into it, so eating into that today (via range increases) means it's not available to make up for battery degradation tomorrow. My 4-year-old EV still has its original range(s) and 100% SOH, but that's surely because it is slowly consuming the margin built into the pack.@Matt Posky: Not everything is a conspiracy to get your credit card account, and the lengthy editorial about this has nothing to do with solid state batteries.
  • JLGOLDEN In order for this total newcomer to grab and hold attention in the US market, the products MUST be an exceptional value. Not many people will pay name-brand money for the pretty mystery. I can appreciate the ambition of selling $50K+ crossovers, but I think they will go farther with their $30K-$40K offerings.