All those lawsuits Volkswagen is currently facing has sure stunned the German company, but not enough to let them focus on the technology that can potentially save their necks. The recent press release ahead of their Paris Motor Show reveal Volkswagen’s bid into the Electric Vehicle game with their new I.D. concept car. According to VW:
The world premiere of the I.D. is the focal point of the company’s show appearance. The zero-emission I.D. will already be going into production in 2020, and it will kick off a new generation of innovative electric vehicles.
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.”
Seems like Volkswagen is ready to put diesel technology in their rear view and focus on the true future of automotive engineering. With the release of the I.D. concept car Volkswagen has claimed it will have a stunning 600 kilometer (375 miles) range produced out of the 125 kW / 170 PS / 168 HP electric motor. The I.D concept will reside on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), which will be expanded to other high-volume models like the Polo, Golf, Tiguan, and Passat.
The I.D. shows a completely new Volkswagen design language for electric vehicles of the compact class. What is known as the Open Space Concept has been implemented for the first time in its interior. Somewhat shorter than a Golf, the I.D. offers the generous space of a Passat. This 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, which enables more space and flexibility. At the same time, the I.D. already bridges over to the year 2025: the I.D. is the first Volkswagen concept car to be fully autonomous in the “I.D. Pilot” mode. The “I.D. Pilot” is activated by touching the VW logo on the steering wheel, which then disappears into the instrument panel and gives the driver an entirely new feeling of space.
Volkswagen’s decision to take control away from the driver under “I.D. Pilot” mode is a bold move that we’ve been anticipating from our fully-autonomous future. It’s a scary thought to let the car brake, accelerate, and steer itself, as seen from many Tesla Autopilot videos. It’s even scarier to think that your controls can completely retract, disabling you from taking over.
Regardless of what’s to come from this concept car, we’re certain Volkswagen is more than ready to move on from one of its darkest and dirtiest part of its history.