But US production won’t begin until 2022
Volkswagen’s ID 4, the automaker’s first electric SUV, has entered into series production in Saxony, Germany, the company announced this week.
The ID 4 — which was previously known as the ID Crozz when it was still a concept — is the second vehicle from VW’s ID lineup of electric vehicles that will be sold in the US, China, and Europe. The first vehicle, the ID 3, is only sold in Europe.
Preproduction of the ID 4 has already started at VW’s Anting plant in China, while the automaker’s Chattanooga site will start production in 2022. The German automaker is staging a full (virtual) reveal of the ID 4 at the end of September. (The first photos of the ID 4 leaked from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology earlier this summer.)
It’s expected to get around 300 miles of range on a full charge and is built on the same modular EV platform that will power VW’s other ID vehicles. There will be both all-wheel and rear-wheel drive layouts, with the former being the version available at launch. The battery is positioned in the center of the underbody to create a low center of gravity and optimize driving dynamics. The digital cockpit will operate using touchscreens and intuitive voice commands.
Hopefully the rollout of the ID 4 goes smoother than the ID 3, which was marred by software glitches that delayed deliveries to customers. It was a black eye for the project, and one of the reasons why VW CEO Herbert Diess was stripped of his role at the brand in June. (Diess is still leading the larger Volkswagen Group.) Diess was also reportedly removed from the CEO position because of troubles with the launch of the new Golf and other missteps, like a racist ad released earlier this year.
VW’s ID electric lineup also includes concept versions of a large SUV (ID Roomzz), a dune buggy (ID Buggy), and a revamped version of its iconic microbus (ID Buzz), for which VW has also promised a delivery variant. All are being built on Volkswagen’s modular electric vehicle platform known as MEB.
The ID family of vehicles won’t be VW’s first foray into battery-powered drivetrains. VW subsidiary Porsche recently revealed its first all-electric sports car, the Taycan. The E-Tron, the first battery-electric SUV from Volkswagen Group-owned Audi, debuted in 2018. Together, these vehicles represent the tip of the spear in VW’s effort to dominate the emerging EV market.
They’re also crucial in helping VW turn the page on the now-four-year-old Dieselgate scandal, in which VW was accused of installing illegal software in 11 million diesel cars in order to trick emissions tests.