By on May 23, 2018

While the electric revival of the Microbus is the star of Volkswagen’s ID sub-brand, we shouldn’t ignore the importance of the upcoming ID hatchback. On track to enter production next year, the Golf-sized hatchback boasts pretty impressive specs for an battery electric vehicle. It won’t be the fastest or most-exciting EV on the market, but VW claims it will be capable of 250 to 375 miles of electric range and offered at an attractive price.

It’s an EV for the masses and should serve as the tip of the spear for Volkswagen’s electric offensive, along with the Crozz crossover. However, the automaker says mass-market appeal doesn’t have to include mass-market styling. The production version of the ID Hatchback should look like the futuristic concept. 

“The proportions, the design cues and the wheel size are the same as the concept. It looks like the show car,” VW’s design head, Klaus Bischoff, told Autocar. “We couldn’t do the camera-system rear-view mirrors for legal reasons, nor the electric door handles due to cost. But other than that, it’s pretty much the same.”

That’s a little difficult to believe, as the rear-drive electric’s wheels are absolutely massive and the suspension looks to have about 2 millimeters of travel.

While it’s impressive that Volkswagen wants to adhere to the concept’s styling, there is no way the consumer model will have the same ground clearance, wild interior (with fully collapsible steering wheel), or color-changing headlamps.

However, the point isn’t so much that the production vehicle will look identical to the concept. It’s that the new hatchback will sets the visual tone and prove that the ID fleet is entirely separate from Volkswagen’s main stable — which sounds like the opposite of what Mercedes-Benz is doing with its EQ cars.

“We had the unique chance to lead Volkswagen into a new age,” Bischoff explained. “Electric drive provides greater freedom for designers. We minimise the cooling holes; the axes move further apart and generate stunning proportions.”

So far as we know, the ID Hatchback will keep its projected range (though the EPA will rate it lower than the claimed maximum of 373 miles) and use a 163 horsepower motor capable of getting the car up to 60 mph in just under 8 seconds. Top speed will be electronically limited to 99 mph.

How many battery configurations Volkswagen plans to offer at launch is unknown. We know it’s supposed to have longer- and shorter-range configurations, but specs haven’t been announced. Production will take place at an existing factory, as the car uses existing unibody construction techniques and is comprised primarily of steel, aluminum, and magnesium — like any normal car.

[Images: Volkswagen Group]

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22 Comments on “Volkswagen Says ID Hatchback Will Look Like the Concept – Which Looks Like the Future...”

  • avatar

    It looks like a prop from the film “Tron”.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    While the styling is futuristic (though the phrase “cab forward” comes to mind which isn’t), are we going old school with respect to options and charging extra for passenger side mirrors?

  • avatar

    The interior will never make it to production obviously. Same goes for the lighting which likely doesn’t meet current regulations along with the missing pillar which is needed for side impact crash standards. The wheels might be the same size (18″s?) but the body work will be pulled back to accommodate them. The rest could easily be a modified Golf so it will be “similar” in style.

  • avatar

    Looks like a toy car. Looks are far out but not horrendous.Will it sell ? I think that will depend on its range/performance and reliability.

  • avatar

    I wish they would just make a normal electric car. Make it look and handle like a gti with the 300 mile range and torque of an ev.

    • 0 avatar

      Consumers will just see that as an overpriced and impractical Golf. That approach has been tried several times.

      I think this is the right approach. People need something to get them over the hump of range anxiety and general EV apathy. Part of Tesla’s success, IMO, comes down to the Model S being distinctive. It’s a good looking car that’s unlike most cars on the road. If VW can be first in line to bring that kind of style to EVs at a normal price I think they will succeed.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Was the collapsing steering ‘wheel’ designed for fat guys? I don’t really see any benefit, otherwise. To wit: An old boss of mine had to use the spring-loaded stressing wheel adjust feature on every one of his work trucks to get in and out. He even wore one out – as well as several drivers’ seats.

  • avatar

    The front is all Tesla, and the back is off of a 1980s Honda Civic.

    It’s not even in production yet, and something has already broken off and is leaning against the driver’s door.

  • avatar

    How will they engineer in the famed VW unreliability without all the moving parts of a traditional engine and transmission? My suggestion is that they make the export versions’ motor brushes out of Play-doh, and of course require disassembling the entire vehicle with proprietary tools to access them. Biodegradable wiring harnesses also seem like a nice idea to please the target customer.

  • avatar

    Oh look.

    Another amorphous transport pod from the “humans will be obsolete in the future” school of design.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Ick. I hope not. That’s very clumsily-styled, compared to Volkswagen’s other wares, which get it right.

  • avatar

    Looks cool, looks next-gen and purposeful. There comes a time that even Yanks realize that a latent inferiority complex (because of small hands) need not be compensated by driving truck-like cars.

  • avatar

    VW has lost its collective mind. That thing is hideously bizarre, like something conjured up for a bad sci-fi movie targeted towards 12-year-olds. Why anyone would want to be seen in something like that is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar

      2manycars: Looking at all of those “lovely”???? Priuses, early Leafs out on the road, you say that? This looks better than those, by far.
      The new Leaf does look much better than Gen. 1, and the Ionic looks OK, and the Teslas, at their higher price points.

  • avatar

    In real world driving that indicated marvelous range will decrease by around half.

    The new 2018 Nissan Leaf has a claimed range of only 415 km, which drops to 200 km when you‘re cruising at a leisurely 120 km/h on the highway. And this is in the summer. During winter use the heating systems will drain the battery at an even quicker pace. The electric offerings from Volkswagen have even less range to begin with (e-Golf / e-Up!).

    For drivers like me, range is everything. Long legs, less stops for fuel and more time efficiency are important to me. And this is why my highway cruiser is a diesel. Another bonus of my diesel is, even if I drive aggressively and fast, it is still more efficient than any similar electric- or gasoline-powered rival.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I guess the future is a Nissan Leaf.

    • 0 avatar

      Here is fairly normal looking version of the Leaf that will be sold in China. Supposedly it will never make it to the US, but who knows.

  • avatar

    truckducken: Most of the “famed VW unreliability” is due to the never-ending de-fame-ation from you fanboys of other makers. The various yearly reliability ratings show up-and-down movement every year – and even St. Toyota is not always at the very top, much less Chevy, Hyundai, or Subaru. To the confirmed crankosaurus, nothing VW does could ever, possibly be good enough. Well, VW sales are up; read it and weep.

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