Volkswagen To Push Design Envelope On Upcoming, Dedicated Electric Vehicles

2 months ago by Steven Loveday 28

As we have recently reported , there has been a lot of talk about Volkswagen’s new I.D. family of electric vehicles. Prior to this report, messages have proven mixed regarding the new lineup’s design language.

Though we have seen some prototypes, execs at VW have made it clear the nothing is set in stone (including the name), and that the new division won’t be setup to “stand out” or be “separate or weird” in comparison to VW’s current lineup.

Direct from Klaus Bischoff, VW’s design chair, we get a bit of clarification. Due to the battery packs, he said, the vehicles will be taller, with shorter hoods, and longer wheelbases. This will allow for more passenger and cargo space. The I.D. line will be “purpose-built” EVs. Bischoff said:

“The I.D. has the interior space of a Passat [midsize] with a footprint smaller than the Golf.”

To help with the tall aspect, Bischoff explained:

“To cope with that we need to correct proportions. Essential for this is huge wheels, huge in diameter — but also wide.”

Since there is no engine up front, the hood area can be smaller. However, it still needs to meet crash test standards. The cabin has free space to move the dashboard forward and increase legroom. There will be less traditional console elements, replaced by a head-up display, complete with augmented reality. The windshield can be more angled, following the slope of the hoodline, making overall aerodynamics come easier.

“To gain the travel distance — range is essential — we need to have outstanding drag coefficients, and this will also influence the shape of the cars quite a bit.”

There is also no need for a front grille or air vents. This is not completely foreign to VW, as the original Beetle has no grille. Bischoff reminded:

“We don’t want a grille. Volks-wagen, if you look back [at the Beetle], was born without a grille. The engine was in the back.”

If it all comes to fruition, we may see the first of the Volkswagen I.D. family around 2020.

Source: Autonews

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28 responses to "Volkswagen To Push Design Envelope On Upcoming, Dedicated Electric Vehicles"

  1. Anderlan says:

    Pssst, VW, the charging bay goes where the grille used to be!

    1. hpver says:

      +1

      This is one thing Nissan and Kia got right and almost other manufacturers got wrong. The worst of them put it on the back quarter panel where the gas cap would be on an ICE car. Worst location.

      1. David Murray says:

        I agree. And having owned a Leaf, Volt, and i3.. I can say the Leaf was the best position with the i3 being the worst. The Volt is tolerable.

        1. jelloslug says:

          I agree. I have had a Leaf, i3 and now a Model S and the Leaf charging port arrangement is the best IMO.

          1. Jay D says:

            The LEAF’s charging port location is vulnerable to damage in minor collisions. Given the high cost of CHAdeMO inlets, I’m happy to have it high on a fender.

            1. Samwise says:

              Insurance…
              I don’t know how things work in all countries but certainly here in NZ even a minor accident costs more than your excess anyway so the actual cost of repair is irrelevant unless it’s adversely affecting premiums.
              Besides any accident that is damaging things other than the bumper is not minor.

            2. carl says:

              Ever heard of a fender-bender???…..

      2. DJ says:

        I wonder if you’ll be saying that when you get in a minor front end collision (the most popular kind) and can’t use your car anymore because the charging port is destroyed.

        There is also the issue with charging when you pull in to a garage. I pull in and it would be a PITA to plug in to the front of my car. Hardly any space up there. Much easier to plug in to the side of the car, at least in my situation.

        Personally I think the sides make a heck of a lot more sense for various reasons.

        1. Dan Drelich says:

          I agree. When I park my i3 in the garage the charge port is perfectly situated. If it were in the front, I would lose garage space. (The area required to walk in front of the car when charging.)

  2. hpver says:

    All this sounds reasonable but I’m worried they will give the designers too much free reign, or worse, design by committee, and end up with something that’s just weird when they could have done something beautiful, cool, sleek and desirable. I hope I’m wrong.

  3. georgeS says:

    Why does it take until 2020?

    Are they waiting for a big battery breakthru? Or perhaps it’s just easier to talk about it than do it.

    1. David Murray says:

      Because they didn’t start designing it until after dieselgate. it takes several years to get a car into production.

      1. speculawyer says:

        Well, the did make the eGolf, the e-Up, and others but they are now realizing that the only way to build a GOOD EV is from the ground up as an EV instead of a conversion.

  4. Someone out there says:

    That’s a risky strategy. The last thing we need is some outlandish design that people will reject. If on the other hand they manage to nail it it could be a real boost.

  5. bro1999 says:

    “Push the design envelope” sounds like fancy words for “freakmobiles on wheels”

    1. ffbj says:

      It is sort a lame euphemism.

  6. Jay D says:

    “Essential for this is huge wheels, huge in diameter — but also wide.”

    Huge Wide tires= higher unsprung weight, more rotating mass, lousy rolling resistance and crippled traction in water and snow. Great way to start a “purpose built EV”. At least BMW is using 155/175 mm wide tires on their “massive” 19 or 20″ i3 wheels.

    1. David S. says:

      That made me cringe also. Being a designer, I guess the guy prefers form before function.
      The i3 has it right.

    2. mymrkeys says:

      First winter with my 2016 Leaf. Glided through heavy wet snow right up to the bumpers. I did put on winter tires but they are wide and I was concerned. In spite of weight, it seemed to just roll over top of the snow with absolutely no chugging or bunny hopping. And the eco mode makes smooth starts on slippery surfaces super easy.

  7. Mark C says:

    I’m sorry to ask what could be a silly question. Does VW sell the eGolf in all states now?

    That would seem to be the simplest way of knowing if VW is full of hot air or perhaps a bit more serious.

    1. Mark C says:

      Ok, just did a Chat with VW of America. e-Golf is only available in compliance states.

      As far as I am concerned, that makes this “upcoming” vehicle just a PR thing.

      1. speculawyer says:

        Well, it was a pretty weaksauce car so it was probably not worth trying to sell outside of compliance states. There would have been very little demand and it would have been a pain to support.

      2. Mike I. says:

        The 2017 e-Golf with 35kWh battery pack should see wider distribution in the US. I say should because VW has said that they will make it available nationwide. However, we will have to see what actually happens. It actually depends on dealers wanting to carry it just like Chevy has had that issue with the Volt.

  8. speculawyer says:

    Wow . . . VW threw a ton of money into their platform that could be used for ICE, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, diesel, CNG, or EV.

    But it looks like they realize that such a generalized architecture means NONE of the cars are optimal. So now they are going back and making a dedicated EV platform.

    That must have been an annoying waste of money/time.

    1. ffbj says:

      Something they are quite used too, wasting time and money, and cheating on emissions standards.

  9. mx says:

    Looks like an Affordable BMW i3.
    Let’s Do This.

  10. Mister G says:

    Is there any news on VW electrify America program?

  11. Jason says:

    Talks cheap, let’s see what they can make. Bolt only took about 2yrs from their concept reveal. If VW had of started when they revealed IDS then we should be seeing something in 2018. If they started now we might see something in 2019, but it doesn’t seem like they are actually making anything, just hyping up vaporware.
    Tesla already pushed the design envelope, you can drive it for the past several years. All you need to do is look at their design for the chassis and you already know how to do that. Now just put some interesting bodies on it.

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