By on June 17, 2020

vwidtalk.com

Hey, look — it’s Volkswagen’s upcoming electric crossover! Leaked on the vwidtalk.com forum and spied by Jalopnik on Wednesday, the MEB-platform EV, which will one day roll out of Chattanooga Assembly, apparently used a Coke bottle for a muse.

Shunning straight lines as well as gasoline, the ID.4 has been spotted disguised as both an Opel and a Kia, but these photos bare all.

VW referred to it as the ID Crozz back when it was still an idea on a drawing board, but the vehicle’s arrival in reality apparently didn’t require the appearance of a more conventional name. “Crozz” can be seen on the liftgate.

Expected to be powered by an electric motor fore and aft, allowing all-wheel drive functionality, the ID.4 Cross is said to boast up to 310 miles of range on the optimistic European WLTP cycle. That would mean an EPA range in the high 200s.

As the compact ID.3 hatch isn’t coming here, the ID.4 Cross will be the first ID-badged vehicle to enter U.S. showrooms. A Microbus-style people hauler is expected to follow. Like the other MEB-platform vehicles currently under development, interior space will probably be unusually voluminous — a distinctive perk of using such a platform and shunning conventional engines.

One hopes VW has figured out its software gremlins by then.

vwidtalk.com

ID.4 teasers reached us in March in the form of renderings released by the automaker. The vehicle should have had some form of debut by now; alas, the coronavirus pandemic scrapped public viewings en masse. It may also have pushed back the model’s release. Slated for production at VW’s Zwickau, Germany assembly plant, the ID.4 was expected to reach buyers late this year or early next, with assembly of U.S.-bound models swapping to Chattanooga in 2022.

It isn’t known whether that timeline has changed. The first models built and sold in Europe are believed to be single-motor, rear-drive examples more suited for the region. Instant torque and all-wheel motivation are big American sales drivers, though fully electric fandom remains mainly the domain of Tesla and its devout, tech-obsessed disciples.

VW would like a big piece of that action. Indeed, the automaker’s goals for its ID line are lofty, to say the least, and it isn’t backing down on anything, even in light of the pandemic.

Still, VW faces an uphill climb in the U.S. marketplace, as it doesn’t possess the “disruptor” cap and aura of moral purity enjoyed by current EV leader Tesla. If EVs are to become mainstream, and we’re told they absolutely must and will, that’ll have to change.

Shapely, with pronounced hips and, um…bust(?), the ID.4 at least offers fake side scoops and a partially functional lower air opening to avoid scaring off would-be intenders. It looks conventional enough, with what appears to be faux brushed metal brightwork arching over the side windows from D- to A-pillar. Gotta get noticed somehow.

The lack of tailpipe is still jarring to see, but the lower body and wheel arch cladding seems right at home on a vehicle of this shape. As the forum post reveals, a range of wheel designs will be in the offing.

[Images: vwidtalk.com]

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20 Comments on “Paging Raymond Loewy: Volkswagen ID.4 Leaked...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Nice looking rig…does VW still get the $7500 tax credit in the US? That should give them a strong position until it’s depleted.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    The look somehow reminds me of Toyota C-HR but more generic.
    I’m fine with only getting a crossover variant given the market, but at least the ID.3 was recognizable. This one is not.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it, and even more than the concept images. Maybe this will be the car to get me back into a VW. I’d estimate the EPA range to be close to 260 miles.

    “The lack of tailpipe is still jarring to see” Why? EVs have been on the ground for a decade now, and ICE designers have actually been trying to hide tailpipes for even longer.

    The snark in this article is palpable and unnecessary, pretty much playing on every EV stereotype. You can’t decide whether you want VW to challenge Tesla disciples with its own product and its ‘jarring’ lack of tailpipes, or whether you want VW’s effort to fail so it can go back to building acceptable cars.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Well of COURSE it leaked. It’s a Volkswagen. That’s what they do.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    It looks like any other small CUV to me, I dunno. It’ll blend into traffic, which is probably the idea, er, the ID.A.

  • avatar
    86er

    Raymond Loewy would be rolling in his grave.

  • avatar
    rolandoblomblando

    I think the long-running trope that Tesla’s ability to successfully sell EVs where other automakers fail is solely due to their cult status or, as the writer puts it, having an “aura of moral purity” is, quite frankly, horse s**t. It’s true that Tesla customers are extremely passionate, but, much like Apple, their product design was successful at creating that passion compared to the competition. Furthermore, beyond just having a strong brand, there are several key, logical reasons why customers consistently choose Tesla even when other automakers seem to put out comparable products.
    1. Design. Take the Chevy Bolt, for instance. It technically beat Tesla to the punch with a 200 mile range EV in the 35K price range. Yet, it looks like a goofy, poorly-proportioned mess. The Model 3, on the other hand, actually looked like a nice car that most people wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in. This same fact is true for the only other 200-mile range EV in this price range in the US: the pathetic-looking Nissan Leaf. As far as the Model S and Model X there are equally as few genuine competitors in the full-size luxury electric car space. Mercedes could have made an all-electric S class with 300 mile range, Audi could have done the same with an electric A8 and handily competed with the Model S. They have chosen not to do so year after year after year, with the same stupid excuse “oh the market isn’t ready yet” while people with the means to do so continue to buy Model S and X.
    2. Electric charging infrastructure. Tesla put the effort into developing and building its own high-speed charging network. Quite simply, when you want to buy an electric car, it’s hard not to think “gee, if I want travel long distances, Tesla pretty much has me covered, but no other car brand does.” As a rational customer, it’s almost impossible to ignore this massive advantage that Tesla has in terms of charging network in most of the US. If a startup with limited resources can build their own charging network, why can’t Ford? Or GM? The answer is that they can, but they just haven’t.
    3. Range. As I alluded to above, Tesla cars consistently have more range than other EVs on the market within comparable price points with few exceptions. Most EV offerings on the market are simply there to comply with California regulations and have ranges so low that most Americans don’t feel comfortable buying them.

    I can assure you, the reason EVs don’t sell is not because people don’t want them, it’s because other automakers in the US haven’t even come close to truly committing to competing in the EV space. They use the same stupid excuses about their not being a market and people not being ready to buy EVs. All they have to do is copy Tesla: Make a car with good range that doesn’t look stupid and build a high-speed charging infrastructure so your customers can use their EVs to drive long distances. That’s f**king it. Established automakers are more than capable of doing this, but none of them have done this, not GM, not Ford, not VW, not FCA, not anybody.

    At the end of the day people put serious thought into buying a car, and the reasons they buy Teslas is not just because they’re brainwashed fanboys. There’s simple and logical reasons why Tesla makes sales, whether you acknowledge it not. Just put yourself in the shoes of a customer and it’s not hard to see the truth. And, after all, isn’t The truth what this website should be about?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “The truth what this website should be about?”

      When it comes to EVs, it’s not about truth on this site, but anti-ev propaganda. The crack about “aura of moral purity” is ridiculous. Where does that even come from? The cars have performance, they’re quiet, and have wonderfully smooth drivetrains. No mention of the charging network which is a major advantage. Just the idiotic remarks about moral purity.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed on all your comments.

      After my former 12 Leaf, I’ve been enjoying my 19 Ioniq EV quite a bit. I actually cross-shopped the Model 3 (and even secured a reservation moments before its reveal), but chose the Hyundai instead – for many reasons. No regrets.

      As for competing mfrs – I think they’re finally realizing just how big the commitment must be to break even. Tesla seems to have finally crossed that threshold, which must terrify the bean counters at F, FCA, GM, and VAG.

      Auto journalists may think Tesla hired a bunch of Silicon Valley gamers to design cars for starry-eyed disciples of the niche EV Cult, but the ‘established’ mfrs know better. They know how much research goes into producing an efficient EV (except VAG, which seems to have no clue about this), and how hard it is to source batteries.

      In the end, they’re not very serious. It’s easier to pay carbon credits to Tesla than to invest billions into EV programs that are already a decade behind Tesla in technology, market share, and appeal. Otherwise, the bean counters are staring down the barrel of 5-10 years of losses while they scramble to make money on their fledgling EVs. Why bother, when trucks and 2.0T CUVs print money for them?

      I’ll be curious to see if F, GM, and VAG follow through on their bold EV announcements. Ford and GM could still walk away from all that today, with little repercussion. They could blame it on COVID, or a bad economy, or ‘market changes’. VW seems somewhat more committed, but we’ll see.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Oh whatever. We judge truck buyers on this site by the worst among them so no issue treating EV owners the same.

      And I don’t buy your “if they’d just build them, they’d sell” argument. That has yet to be the case.

      • 0 avatar
        rolandoblomblando

        You can judge people all you want, but that’s not what’s at issue here. The issue is creating a false narrative about why a particular car company is successful at selling electric cars when others have failed and attributing that success to something something other than the actions of the company itself which led it to that success and then suggesting that electric cars cannot be successful unless people are brainwashed into a cult-like mindset.

        Also, I’m not just saying that “if they’d just build them, they’d sell.” I’m saying that they have to build a compelling EV with enough range and develop a charging infrastructure (either their own or publicly usable) so that those vehicles can travel long-distances. Tesla has built 1,971 charging locations with 17,467 high speed chargers. The next best high speed charging network is the VW-affiliated Electrify America which only has 500 charging locations and 2000 chargers, and those are publicly usable. And this was only done because VW was forced to do it (and, consequently, is one of the main reasons they’re actually starting to build serious EVs now). The thousands of regular (non-high-speed) chargers out there are only useful for overnight charging, but most Americans want to be able to use their car to travel long distances when needed and without a truly high-speed charging network, that’s basically impossible.

        So, what you’re saying that “That has yet to be the case” is not true because no other automaker has actually put the resources and time into doing what Tesla has done. If they had, they might have some nice sales on their hand at this point like the Model 3, which, btw, is outselling the combined sales of every competitor in its class. These are US sales for 2019:
        Tesla Model 3: 158,925
        Mercedes C-Class: 49,151
        BMW 3 Series: 47,827
        Audi A4: 26,435
        Lexus IS: 14,920

        All major competitors combined: 138,333

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          It seems the only false narrative being pushed is the one you’re pushing. You’re just guessing. That’s fine, but at least cop to it.

          E-cars are awesome. They should be built well as most mainstream cars are today. Tesla products are not built well. They look great and drive great, but the problems they have are unacceptable. Ford screwed up the launch of Explorer too, so I’m not saying that only Tesla is screwing up build quality.

          I’m saying that reality deniers and Tesla fanboys have much to kibbitz about over coffee and crumpets.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Teslas are actually engineered well going by the critiques on the teardowns. The build and paint problems can be fixed post-purchase. Once those problems are fixed, you’ll end up with a really great well-engineered car.

            The Tesla community doesn’t deny the build issues. They’re the ones doing the most reporting about the problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            “The build and paint problems can be fixed post purchase”

            This statement alone shows that there is in fact a “Tesla Cult”. Name any other automakers where this would be acceptable. I’d counter that it is vastly easier to swap a Tremec T56 Magnum into a Mustang GT for less cost and effort than repainting a car…doesn’t mean Ford engineered it well.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          It certainly is not all buyers, and probably not a majority, but if you don’t think Tesla gets some sales because Tesla and then jump on the internet and defend them to the death no matter what and bash other owners that point out these flaws, you are nuts.

          I am a Ford guy typically but I have no issue pointing out the plethora of boneheaded things they have been doing. A vocal group of Tesla people are not in this camp and it doesn’t seem to be a tiny number.

          It’s like BMW motorcycles. I love them, but I’m not sure I could own one because of the high number of douches I meet on them. This goes for Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      What you state in # is are actually opinions, not facts. You assure us but yet how do you know really why people buy Teslas. I would suspect there actually is a large number of people who buy them because they are simply “fanboys” and it’s trendy. Look at Subaru and Kia, they sell a lot of vehicles because of that. Also, you don’t know a lot of people what electric cars. I don’t. I find Teslas to be rather derivative and dull. I don’t want one.

      • 0 avatar
        rolandoblomblando

        If you’re talking about item 1 in my original comment regarding design, then yes, you’re right that was opinion I’ll give you that. I think it’s a commonly-held opinion, but you’re right that not everyone feels that way and you’re entitled to see Teslas as derivative and dull. So, let’s stick to the facts:
        Tesla’s high-speed charging network: 1,971 charging locations with 17,467 high speed chargers
        Next best high speed charging network (VW’s Electrify America): 500 charging locations and 2000 chargers

        You may not know “a lot of people what electric cars,” but a lot of people are buying the Tesla Model 3, which happens to be an electric car. I’ll repeat the stats I mentioned above for Model 3 and its equivalent gas-engine competitors.
        US sales for 2019:
        Tesla Model 3: 158,925
        Mercedes C-Class: 49,151
        BMW 3 Series: 47,827
        Audi A4: 26,435
        Lexus IS: 14,920
        All major competitors combined: 138,333

        Also, the Chevy Bolt, one of two other 200 mile range EVs in the 35K price range, sold 16,419 cars in 2019 in the US despite looking like a dorky piece of crap. I didn’t include it above because it’s not in the same class of cars as Model 3. These sales obviously are relatively crap, but, again, it doesn’t have access to the high-speed charging infrastructure that Tesla has built, so when people are cross shopping the Bolt with Model 3 it’s kind of hard not to think about the charging infrastructure problem. It’s critically important for electric cars in the US. Did I mention the Bolt looks like a cheap economy-box piece of s**t? Yes that’s my opinion, but how many people actually think the Bolt looks good? Anyone? And don’t even get me started on the f**king Nissan Leaf…

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @teddyc73: “Also, you don’t know a lot of people what electric cars”

        I do. I’ve put almost 100k miles on mine. Met a lot of owners at charging stations and have talked with them.

        “how do you know really why people buy Teslas”:

        Not only from talking with owners I’ve met, but my own experience driving an EV. That instant response when you hit the accelerator is fantastic. Smooth and quiet without tranmission hunting issue or the torque-lag you get with ICE engines. Low center of gravity that helps cornering. Great weight balance. All elements that drivers have wanted for years. Acceleration 0-60 in 3 or less seconds. I’m not a fan because I want a tech toy. I’m a fan because of the performance. Plain and simple. Every driver I’ve talked with over the years mentions the performance first.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Teslas are actually engineered well going by the critiques on the teardowns. The build and paint problems can be fixed post-purchase. Once those problems are fixed, you’ll end up with a really great well-engineered car.

    The Tesla community doesn’t deny the build issues. They’re the ones doing the most reporting about the problems.

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