Paging Raymond Loewy: Volkswagen ID.4 Leaked

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
paging raymond loewy volkswagen id 4 leaked

Hey, look — it’s Volkswagen’s upcoming electric crossover! Leaked on the 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.

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.


Join the conversation
13 of 20 comments
  • Rolandoblomblando Rolandoblomblando on Jun 17, 2020

    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?

    • See 10 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jun 19, 2020

      @rolandoblomblando 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.

  • Mcs Mcs on Jun 18, 2020

    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.

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).