Volkswagen has revealed the ID.4, the automaker’s first all-electric SUV and the brand’s first global EV. The ID.4 is built on Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle architecture and will compete in the compact SUV market segment.
At launch in the U.S., the 2021 ID.4 offers an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. The EPA-certified range for the Pro S (Statement) and 1st Edition models is 250 miles.
With the MEB architecture, Volkswagen is returning to its roots—the electric motor is located at the rear, just like the original Beetle, the company said. The motor is located above the rear axle, just in front of the centerline of the wheels, and transfers its torque to a two-stage 1-speed gearbox. A synthetic sound is generated up to speeds of about 20 mph to aid pedestrian and cyclist awareness.
An all-wheel-drive variant with a second electric motor will follow later in 2021.
The ID.4 can be charged with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) fast-charging capability. All ID.4 models are equipped with a CCS (Combined Charging System) socket, which allows for both home and public charging. The 11 kW onboard charger allows the ID.4 to charge to full in as little as seven and a half hours at a home or public Level 2 charger.
The ID.4 is designed to be fun to drive, the company said, as its rear-wheel-drive layout helps ensure strong traction. With the large high-voltage battery located between the axles, lowering the center of gravity, the weight distribution is very close to 50:50.
The ID.4 has a strut-type front suspension, with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. For the first time at Volkswagen, the steering rack is located in front of the centerline of the wheels, to maximize stability during cornering. At the rear, the car has a compact multi-link suspension that features coil springs, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. While the chassis and body are made from steel, parts of the suspension are made of aluminum to reduce weight.
The ID.4 features Driving Mode Selection, which gives the driver a choice of four modes. Eco, Comfort and Sport are preconfigured. In Custom mode, the driver is given additional settings on the central display: They can select between Comfort and Sport for various driving features—in other words, even more comfortable or even more dynamic driving.
The new Vehicle Dynamics Manager control system, which debuted last year on the European Mk 8 Golf GTI, is standard on ID.4 models. This system, which works closely with the ESC stability control system, controls the wheel-selective brake interventions of the XDS electronic transverse differential lock.
The Pro and Pro S models are outfitted with large 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Pro S models, when outfitted with the Gradient package, upgrade to 20-inch wheels and are standard on 1st Edition models.
A combination of brake types is used on ID.4. It features disc brakes on the front wheels and drums at the rear—the difference being specific to electric vehicle needs. As EVs rely on regenerative braking, disc brakes on the rear can be less effective than drums after long periods of not being put to heavy use. The discs on the front of the ID.4 models are 13.4 inches in diameter on rear-wheel-drive models and 14.1 inches on AWD models.
The regenerative braking system in the ID.4 offers the driver two modes. The D (Drive) position is the default mode, automatically activated upon start-up. In this position, the car can coast whenever the driver’s foot is off the accelerator or brake pedal. As soon as the driver applies the brakes, energy recuperation is activated, and the electric drive motor feeds power back into the battery. The B (Brake) position enables the driver to select a heavier amount of regeneration.
Each ID.4 features predictive Eco Assistance as standard. It analyzes data from the navigation system and vehicle sensors to optimize coasting and energy recovery without drivers having to intervene.
The ID.4 will available in six exterior colors—Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Grey, Scale Silver Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic and King’s Red Metallic. All models come with a body color roof and black roof rails as standard. AWD models add a tow hitch and towing capacity of 2,700 lbs with a braked trailer, while Pro S models add a panoramic fixed-glass roof and power-folding side mirrors with diamond-pattern puddle lamp signature. Pro S models, when outfitted with the Gradient Package, and 1st Edition ID.4 models upgrade to a black roof and rear spoiler, while the C-pillars, roofline, roof rails and accents are a bright silver.
Inside, a digital display replaces the traditional instrument cluster. The 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit is attached to the steering column, and the traditional gearshift is replaced by a large rocker switch on the right. The dash panel appears to float, as it is not connected to the center console. Its front section drops down towards the interior in steps, while decorative trim separates the top and bottom halves.
Running between the front seats is a center console. Both the front portion, with cupholders, and the rear, with a roller shutter, are modular in design and can be reconfigured with adaptable inserts. Inside the rear compartment is an illuminated wireless charging pad for compatible mobile phones and two USB-C ports. On the backside are two more USB-C charging ports for rear-seat passengers.
The optional panoramic fixed-glass roof stretches across almost the entire surface of the roof. An electric sunshade helps prevent the interior from heating up on sunny days, and can be controlled via a touch slider above the driver or through the infotainment screen.
The steering wheel, steering column, and the housings for the display and control panels in the doors are finished in Black on Pro and Pro S models. These are finished in Electric White on 1st Edition models. Seats in the ID.4 are finished in black cloth on Pro models and Lunar Gray or Galaxy Black leatherette on Pro S and 1st Edition models. Leatherette seats are perforated for added comfort and feature a hexagonal pattern.
All ID.4 models include ten-color ambient lighting, and Pro S and 1st Edition models feature a 30-color ambient lighting system with pre-set “moods”, as well as a slider bar in the infotainment system to customize.
A 10-inch Discover Pro touch infotainment display is located in the middle of the dash panel, angled slightly towards the driver. This screen can be configured to driver preference, and manages the standard navigation system, all telematics, entertainment, driver-assistance systems and vehicle settings; it is upgraded to a 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display on Pro S models. Menus can be moved using gesture control, simply swiping one’s hand in front of the screen. Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display.
The ID.4 offers standard wireless mobile charging for compatible devices, wireless App-Connect, and Volkswagen Car-Net with in-car Wi-Fi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices offers users the ability to run select smartphone apps directly on the vehicle’s display through Apple CarPlay, Android AutoTM and MirrorLink.