Under the guiding principle "Think New", Volkswagen unveiled their visionary I.D. concept car at the 2016 Paris International Motor Show. I.D. announces a new line of electric vehicles of the not so distant future - production version of the electric I.D. is expected to grace the roads in 2020.
I.D. will be the first ever Volkswagen to be based on the newly developed Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). It will be classified as a compact electric car with which Volkswagen wishes to expand its range of high-volume models, to go hand in hand with best-sellers such as the Polo, Golf, Tiguan and Passat. I.D. will be powered by a 125 kW electric motor, offering a range of 400 to up to 600 zero-emission kilometers, when the battery pack is fully charged. According to Volkswagen, the retail price of I.D. will be comparable to the price of Golf with similar performance.
Preparing the new I.D., Volkswagen used a new design language known as the Open Space Concept – it gave the car that is otherwise shorter than a Golf, the generous interior space of a Passat, which was made possible by the new drive concept architecture with an electric motor on the rear axle and a high-voltage battery in the vehicle floor.
Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand explained: "In 2020 we will begin to introduce an entire family of electric vehicles on the market. All of them will be based on a new vehicle architecture which was specially and exclusively developed for all-electric vehicles. Not for combustion engine or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The I.D. stands for this new era of all-electric vehicles, for a new automotive era: electrical, connected and autonomously driving."
In 2025, I.D. will become the first Volkswagen concept car to be fully autonomous in the "I.D. Pilot" mode, which can be activated by touching the VW logo on the steering wheel. The logo will then disappear into the instrument panel and give the driver an entirely new feeling of space. Instead of using a conventional car key, a smartphone will be used as a "Digital Key" to open the I.D. and enable the vehicle to start – this way, each Volkswagen driver will be using his or her own unique "Volkswagen ID", an individual profile with information such as personal seat and climate control settings, favourite radio stations and play lists, settings of the sound system, contact data for friends and business partners and the navigation system configuration.