British publication Autocar – citing information from Volkswagen head of research and development, Frank Welsch – claims the German brand will launch the ID.6 sedan and wagon in 2023, styled as production versions of the ID Vizzion and ID Space Vizzion concepts.
The pair will go on sale in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2023, with production to commence earlier in the year at Volkswagen's plant in Emden, Germany.
Welsch and the British publication's information aligns with official confirmation late last month from Volkswagen's CEO of passenger cars, Ralf Brandstätter, that the ID Space Vizzion is bound for production at the Emden site in 2023, under the codename 'Aero B'.
While both Autocar and Brandstätter agree the 'Aero B' will be offered as a wagon, the British magazine adds that a sedan body will also be offered – a key inclusion to ensure the model's success in sedan- and EV-hungry China.
The ID.6 name should also help the electric sedan find traction with Chinese buyers, given the number six has "connotations of wellbeing" in the nation.
Above: Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion concept.
While the ID.6 will reportedly feature exterior dimensions on par with the current mid-sized Passat, passenger space inside the cabin will be more comparable with the discontinued, full-size Phaeton – a result of the lack of a combustion engine up front, allowing engineers to push the wheels closer to the corners of the car, increasing cabin space.
Both single-motor, rear-wheel-drive and dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain configurations will be reportedly offered with the ID.6, with the latter enabling the introduction of a GTX-badged performance model capable of a 5.8-second 0-100km/h dash.
That would make the flagship EV around 0.3 seconds slower than the quickest version of the Passat currently on sale, the 5.5-second 206TSI.
Given the ID.6's anticipated higher kerb weight (thanks to its heavy lithium-ion battery), but more aerodynamic shape, we'd wager a power output of around 225kW is on the cards – particularly given such a dual-motor setup is already offered on the ID.6's MEB platform, powering the Skoda Enyaq iV RS.
Single-motor, entry-level variants should complete the same sprint in 8.5 seconds – on par with the flagship rear-drive versions of the related Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV (bottom), which are powered by a single, 150kW/315Nm rear-mounted motor.
A range of lithium-ion battery sizes will be on offer, the largest of which, according to Welsch and Autocar, will measure 84kWh (net) in capacity – 7kWh more than the largest battery currently offered with an MEB-based vehicle, the 77kWh (net, with gross capacity at 82kWh) unit in the Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 EVs.
However, whereas top-spec, 77kWh versions of the Volkswagen ID.3 only offer 550km of range, Welsch claims improved lithium-ion cell efficiency, reduced rolling resistance and "new aerodynamic developments" will enable the ID.6 to cover up to 700 kilometres on a single charge.
Should the 84kWh pack be depleted, and Autocar says DC fast-charging up to 200kW will be on offer to help recharge the ID.6's batteries, with a 10-minute stint at a compatible DC charger adding 230km worth of range.
Similar – though still inferior – capabilities will be added to the ID.3 hatch in 2021, with 130kW DC charging to become an option for European buyers in July – an upgrade over the 50kW, 100kW and 125kW capabilities current available, depending on variant.
Support for 170kW fast-charging will join the options list for Volkswagen's first standalone electric hatchback in December 2021, allowing 150km of range to be added in just 10 minutes.
When it goes on sale in the UK in 2023, the ID.6 will be the fifth model to be introduced as part of Volkswagen's new ID electric vehicle range, joining the ID.3 hatch and ID.4 mid-size SUV – both of which have already entered production.
They'll be joined by the ID.5 coupe SUV (or ID.4 GTX, according to some rumours) in 2021, followed by the production version of the ID.Buzz people mover, due in 2022.
By the time the ID.6 enters production, the Emden plant will be home to production of the ID.4 and its sleeker ID.5 sibling, with secondary ID.6 production to take place in China through Volkswagen's joint ventures with SAIC and FAW from 2024.
Production of the ID trio will replace the Volkswagen Passat and Arteon mid-sizers currently built at the plant, with production of the combustion-engined duo to move to the Czech Republic alongside the related Skoda Superb liftback in 2023, when the next-generation Passat arrives.
However, the Superb could be joined solely by the Passat wagon on the production line, with reports earlier this month suggesting the Passat sedan and Arteon liftback and Shooting Brake could see the axe in coming years.
Volkswagen anticipates 300,000 electric vehicles will be built each year at Emden by 2023.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more details on the 2023 Volkswagen ID.6 as its launch nears in coming years, with the first prototype sightings likely to commence in the first half of 2022.