Volkswagen electric SUV edges closer to production with Frankfurt concept
Volkswagen has been on the electric warpath recently, laying out a bold plan to create a new range of all-electric cars by 2025. Having released the first I.D. Concept last year, the company has expanded with high-riding coupes and retro-inspired vans. The cherry red I.D. Crozz was initially unveiled in Shanghai, but VW has given it an interior makeover for Frankfurt.
Before we get to the new "Open Space" interior, let's take a quick look at the powertrain sitting silently under the skin. It's built on the same Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform as the other I.D. concepts, which means the battery pack is set low in the chassis for lots of cabin space in a more compact package. Expect the base, itself a variation of the ubiquitous MQB platform underpinning the majority of current Volkswagen Group cars, to spread into Audi, Skoda and Seat cars shortly after debuting in the VW I.D. range.
To make sure it can back up its high-riding looks, the Crozz has an electric motor on each axle for battery-powered 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Volkswagen doesn't claim it's a rival for something like the Bollinger B1, but it should be able to handle gravel trails or snowy roads without too much fuss – should it make it to production, of course.
The 83-kWh lithium-ion battery offers 500 km (311 mi) of range on the New European Drive Cycle, while the 225-kW (302-hp) system output delivers a 180-km/h (112-mph) top speed. A 48/52 front/rear weight distribution should help with handling, although we'll have to wait and see if it drives like a GTI, as Volkswagen claims. No charge time has been quoted using a regular wall outlet, but a 150-kW DC fast charger can top it up to 80 percent in 30 minutes.
Get used to hearing those figures, by the way. Volkswagen is planning to offer three EV models by 2020, expanding to 23 pure-electric vehicles by 2025 and electrification of its entire fleet by 2030 at the latest. Given most of those cars will share their underpinnings, a range of around 500 km is probably a safe estimate for most of the initial offerings.
Behind the wheel, the I.D. Crozz on show in Frankfurt has been given a complete makeover. Whereas the interior we saw in Shanghai was finished in a moody color scheme, the car on show at IAA has been developed to feel light and airy. There are no B-pillars, and the low floor means there is plenty of space for bikes, skis or whatever else you might want to throw in there.
Tesla has put air-quality in the spotlight with its HEPA filters and Bioweapon Defence mode, now VW wants to do the same with the CleanAir system in its I.D. Crozz. Along with cleaning the air, the system is able to provide live information about the quality of the air being delivered to the cabin. Volkswagen has also fitted a new voice assistant, capable of closing the doors and activating the autonomous I.D. Pilot mode.
Outside, the icy-silver finish of the Shanghai concept has been replaced by a shade of Hibiscus Red Metallic. Some of the showy detailing from the first concept, like the purple detailing in the headlamps, has been replaced with more production-ready design elements. The red and black finish is certainly eye-catching.
The I.D. Crozz will be on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action.