The latest in Volkswagen's I.D. series of futuristic electric vehicles has been unveiled in Shanghai. The I.D. CROZZ crossover utility vehicle boasts a 311-mile (500-km) range on a single charge and autonomous driving capabilities in I.D. Pilot mode. It's slated to enter production in 2020.

The CROZZ is the third in VW's I.D. series of planned 2020-era zero-emission vehicles. The original I.D. was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and was joined by the I.D. BUZZ that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year. VW plans to produce the entire range of I.D. electric vehicles for the 2020 model year.

The company plans to sell one million of its all-electric vehicles a year globally by 2025. That's an aggressive goal, given that the best-selling battery electric car (the Nissan LEAF) has a lifelong global sales total of only about 240,000 units thus far.

VW says the CROZZ's 225-kW (302-hp) electric powertrain can propel the vehicle to a top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h). That powertrain sits within VW's Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) platform, which is also the basis of the aforementioned I.D. concepts and enables the CROZZ to boast as much interior space as the new 2018 Tiguan crossover, while being 3 in (7.6 cm) shorter, 1.9 in (4.8 cm) lower and 2.2 in (5.6 cm) wider. This gives the I.D. CROZZ concept dimensions of 182.1 in (4.6 m) long, 74.4 in (1.9 m) wide, and 63.3 in (1.6 m) high.

The design language for the I.D. CROZZ seeks to remove any CUV boxiness while retaining sportiness. A rounded front section, far-flung wheels (a benefit of the long wheelbase of the MEB platform), and fastback hatch-style taper to the rear to create a station wagon-like style for the CROZZ. A thin, elongated greenhouse emphasizes forward movement, as do the slightly upward curving lines of the bodywork.

Lighting is a big part of the I.D. series and Volkswagen is using it to emphasize the near-future appeal of the vehicles and inject some personality. The lighting can also convey information, depending on the drive mode or situation.

For example, when the CROZZ is parked, lighting subdues and shuts off with the exception of two dim lines at the bottom of the LED headlamps, giving the impression of closed eyes. Upon approach by a driver, the vehicle "wakes up," illuminating its front and rear badges and then cycling light through a sequence around the CROZZ until all exterior and interior lighting is activated. Then the CROZZ can even "wink" at the driver upon approach. Cheeky.

This flow of lighting gives the I.D. CROZZ its personality in the parking lot. On the road, interior lighting dims to a light blue for improved visibility out the windows and the higher the speed of the vehicle, the narrower and more focused the beams of the headlamps become.

Lighting also follows the driving situation. When driving through town, for example, the headlamp nearest a detected pedestrian will shine towards them to both illuminate them and let them know that the I.D. knows they're there. Headlamps also "bend" into the direction of a turn.

Inside, the Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ concept is similar to many crossovers of today in terms of its versatile seating and cargo capabilities. Seating can be slid, swiveled, and folded to accommodate cargo or passengers, as needed. The wide-swinging doors open into a pillar-less side opening, swinging out to a full 90-degrees to allow easy access.

A new CleanAir system that Volkswagen developed for air filtration is included in the CROZZ. This system uses varied levels of filtration to clean the air inside the vehicle and is controlled through an interface in the infotainment system that will display the current air quality outside.

The I.D. CROZZ Concept can be controlled via smart device so there's no keyfob required. A Volkswagen User-ID on a smart device lets owners store various settings, such as climate preferences and typical drive routes for navigation.

The concept on display in Shanghai also has a number of slightly gimmicky ideas included, such as a huge tablet-like display for infotainment and a gesture-controlled skylight roof. The former has rarely been done well in any production vehicle, being very glare-prone, and the latter seems a little contrived. The rear door panels working as singular infotainment-style screens for passengers seems like a good idea, though, giving everyone in the vehicle a chance to control what's theirs.

Another interesting idea in the I.D. CROZZ is the package delivery option. The 18.2-cubic foot (515 liter) trunk can be temporarily accessed by anyone authorized by the vehicle's owner, allowing packages to be left in the trunk for pickup by others as needed. The vehicle's owner receives a notification when the trunk is accessed in this way.

The I.D. CROZZ also features an autonomous I.D. Pilot mode. When this mode is activated by pushing the VW logo on the steering wheel for three seconds, said steering wheel retracts back flush with the dashboard. Additionally, autonomous lighting indicators inside and outside the vehicle switch on to alert those inside and outside of the vehicle that it is driving itself.

VW expects that this mode will be limited in the 2020 models due to regulations, but expects the fully autonomous system to be capable of taking control of the car in most driving situations by 2025 in most major markets. Sensors in the rooftop extend while the CROZZ is in autonomous mode, adding more capability to the car's laser scanning abilities. Ultrasonic, radar sensors and a 360-degree suite of cameras augment the lasers.

Powering the Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ is an 83-kWh lithium-ion battery pack located in the vehicle's floor. These batteries power two electric motors (one on each axle). The front axle has a 101-hp (75-kW) motor and the rear a 201-hp (150-kW) unit. This arrangement gives the I.D. CROZZ a weight distribution of 48:52 front:rear, giving it what VW claims are excellent handling characteristics. Charging through a 150-kW DC fast charger can charge the batteries from empty to 80 percent in just half an hour in fast-charge mode.

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