VW's sub-$40K 250-mile ID.4 crossover dares Americans to go electric
Bringing electric vehicle technology closer to the tipping point at which the masses embrace it, Volkswagen today revealed the ID.4 crossover. With the small SUV packaging modern car buyers can't seem to get enough of, a bright, modern look, available all- and rear-wheel drive options, and pricing set to dip into the low $30s after tax breaks, the ID.4 promises to be a statement vehicle, both for VW and EVs at large.
Unlike VW's first ground-up EV build, the ID.3 that launched to much fanfare a year ago, the ID.4 has been developed with the US market top of mind. It will launch in all 50 US states next year and will eventually be built Stateside at VW's Chattanooga plant.
VW has gone back to its rear-motor roots with the RWD launch model, affixing an AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 lb-ft of torque at the rear axle. When the frame-mounted 12-module 82-kWh battery is fully charged, the rear-driven ID.4 1st Edition will travel up to 250 miles (400 km) on the EPA cycle, VW estimates. A 302-hp all-wheel-drive model will follow the RWD to market later in 2021.
When charging at a 125-kW DC fast-charging station, the ID.4 will make the leap from 5 to 80 percent charged in roughly 38 minutes, requiring a 7.5-hour charge when hooked to a Level 2 charger at home. Each car comes complete with three years of fast-charging at the Electrify America network of stations.
Using the grille-free classic Beetle as a starting point, VW has done a nice job giving the ID.4 a strong facial identity without sawing and drilling unnecessary grilles and intakes. The upper edge of that face gets pronounced definition thanks to the sharp, wraparound LED headlamps and badging bar between them. A slightly up-curved crease below delineates a bumper area defined by vertical air scoops out at the sides and a honeycomb design down low. The available Statement package illuminates the VW badge and accent line running through it.
The 180.5-in (458.5-cm) ID.4 stands on a 108.9-in (276.6-cm) wheelbase. A gently swept roofline emphasized by contrast black rails adds a sporty profile with help from the roof spoiler, contributing to a 0.28 coefficient of drag.
VW capitalizes on the compact, decentralized electric powertrain packaging to give the ID.4 nearly as large a passenger cabin as the longer Tiguan. Simplified and digitized, the interior design is anchored by a rather undersized 5.3-in digital cockpit joined atop the dash by a 10-in Discover Pro infotainment touchscreen (12-in Discover Pro Max available with Statement package). The digital cockpit is adjusted via touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel, while the infotainment options can be controlled via touch, no-touch gesture control or "Hello ID" natural voice control. The infotainment system also incorporates volume sliders below the touchscreen. An ID. Light strip below the windshield provides another information layer, using both color and audio prompts to emphasize important system and navigation details.
Standard ID.4 features include keyless access, wireless mobile charging, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control and a heated steering wheel. Also standard is the IQ Drive driver-assistance suite with forward collision warning with emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and rear traffic alert. Available add-ons include SiriusXM radio, in-car Wi-Fi for up to four devices, and power tailgate with easy open/close.
Volkswagen will begin ID.4 Pro production at its Zwickau plant, launching it in US markets starting Q1 2021. Base price will be $39,995, before up to $7,500 of federal tax credit monies bring that down as low as $32,495. The AWD model will start at $43,695 when it comes to market later in 2021. Once VW begins US production in Chattanooga in 2022, it intends to offer local-built ID.4 models for around $35K to start. Reservations opened today on VW.com and require a fully refundable $100 deposit.