Volkswagen has presented a sequel to the radical I.D Crozz electric crossover concept it premiered this past April in Shanghai — both of which preview the production car that’ll go on sale, with a range of up to 500km, in 2020.
This 4.6-metre long (bigger than a Tiguan) coupe crossover will go on-sale at the same time as the $40k VW Golf-sized I.D EV, and two years ahead of the I.D Buzz zero-emission van, a modern take on the famous Bulli/Kombi.
Imaginatively called the I.D Crozz II, the red-painted concept adds some design muscularity, with new 21-inch alloy wheels, new LED headlights and tweaked frontal design, gesture-controlled sunroof and lighting, and a slicker new voice interaction system.
Using this system, natural voice commands can be used to open or close all doors and to activate or deactivate the fully autonomous laser-guided 'I.D. Pilot' driving mode (something you can also do by pushing the VW logo on the steering wheel for three seconds). Voice control is activated by saying “hello I.D”, combined with a command.
The I.D Crozz is based on Volkswagen’s new modular MEB architecture designed just for electric cars, which will account for a targeted one million sales from the brand — and three-million from the wider VW Group as a whole — by 2025.
The compact electric drive system and integration of the lithium-ion battery into the vehicle floor free up space to give the cabin what VW reckons is “a flexible, lounge-like spatial concept that offers a superior amount of room”.
Integrated in the middle of the instrument panel is a 10.2-inch tablet – an infotainment system with an individually configurable home screen. Its layout can be personalised via four different function tiles, such as 'Messages', 'Media', 'Telephone' and ‘Navigation’.
The driver receives all data relevant to driving, such as speed and visual navigation instructions, via an augmented reality head-up display, while a 5.8-inch Active Info Display shows visual information to the driver too.
Meanwhile, where the interior rear-view mirror used to be there is now a system VW predictably calls the e-Mirror. A monitor here merges the data from the three external cameras. The images are transmitted from the exterior mirror cameras mounted in the left and right-hand sides of the car body and from a rear-facing camera.
Information and controls that have previously only been available to the driver and front passenger are now available to rear-seat passengers too – thanks to digital door panels. These white, semi-transparent control islands are ergonomically located in the trim of the four doors, where they appear to hover in mid- air.
The rather clumsily-named I.D Crozz II has an electric 4Motion all-wheel drive system where the front and rear axles each have one working motor, with torque distribution between them controlled via an 'electric propshaft'.
The system power output is a claimed 225kW — at the rear axle the work is done by a compact 150kW motor, while at the front there is a 75 kW coaxial drive — and the top speed is 180 km/h. Volkswagen claims that using a fast-charging system with a power output of 150 kW (DC) will let you charge the battery to 80 per cent within 30 minutes.
In most driving situations, the rear axle provides forward propulsion, but said 'electric propshaft' redistributes the power between the front and rear axles in fractions of a second. In addition, the I.D Crozz can be constantly driven in an all-wheel drive mode, on off-road trails or snow, for instance.
An ideal distribution of weight between the two axles has been achieved by integrating the battery centrally and locating the two drive system units at the front and rear. The ratio is 48 per cent (front) to 52 per cent (rear).
“This gives the I.D Crozz II handling properties on the same level as a Golf GTI,” Volkswagen boldly suggests.
The running gear has electronic damping control and newly designed multi-link rear suspension and MacPherson front suspension – each equipped with an integrated drive system and a decoupled subframe.
Ahead of the reveal of the I.D Crozz, the boss of the Volkswagen Group globally, Matthias Mueller (above), discussed its EV plans. Dieselgate clearly hastened this huge corporate shift.