Volkswagen has big plans for its electric vehicle line-up and will soon have two BEVs in production, the little ID.3 hatchback already available in Europe, and the slightly larger ID.4 SUV coming to the States. Now, it seems, we can get ready for the German automaker to push things to the extreme with the upcoming ID.6, a three-row people-mover.
While the automaker had been planning a splashy launch of the ID.6 in April, we’ve now gotten a good look at the seven-seater’s exterior thanks to a leak from China where VW — like all manufacturers with new products — was required to submit documentation and images to the government’s industrial ministry. Apparently, that information can be captured by the public, as well as competitors, if you know where to look.
What the images reveal is a vehicle that hews rather closely to the form of the Volkswagen ID.Roomzz concept vehicle first introduced at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show – albeit without the double sliding doors and the quirky headlights that VW loves to use on show cars.
VW works up an all-electric alternative to the familiar Atlas SUV
Think of this as the all-electric equivalent of the current Volkswagen Atlas crossover-utility vehicle. With three rows, ID.6 would certainly suit a similar purpose in the line-up.
Despite being substantially bigger than the ID.3 and ID.4, however, the big e-SUV will still have a number of things in common, starting with the underlying skateboard-style platform. Dubbed the MEB, this modular architecture can be flexed substantially in terms of width, length and ride height, as well as how many motors it uses and where they are mounted.
It also allows for offering different size battery packs and few would be surprised if the production car will be offered with different options, depending on the range a buyer might need – and the amount they’re willing to spend.
Battery pack and engine specs
When the ID.Roomzz was launched, VW said it would come with an 82 kilowatt-hour pack providing “a range of up to 450 km (WLTP) or 475 km (NEDC, China).” As the EPA uses a stricter series of tests to determine range, a pack of that size would almost certainly drop below 400 km, 250 miles, per charge. The size of the new crossover would appear to give it the option to go with an even bigger battery pack, perhaps 100 kWh, which could push U.S. range up to 300 miles or so.
Reports from China and from Volkswagen sources indicate the base model will be powered by a modest 75 kilowatt motor driving the rear axle. Equivalent to 100 horsepower, that might work in the People’s Republic but almost certainly would fall short of expectations in other markets, including the U.S., especially considering the mass involved in carrying seven people and a big battery pack.
An upgrade, tentatively dubbed ID.6X, would add a second motor on the front axle, doubling power and creating a through-the-road all-wheel-drive system. That’s in line with what the smaller ID.3, the first VW long-range model for the U.S., produces. So, we can speculate on whether the automaker might have something even more powerful in store.
At a presentation TheDetroitBureau.com attended in late 2019, officials indicated the electric drive system for the MEB could punch out as much as 201 hp per motor. The Roomzz concept, in fact, was billed as making 302 hp from its twin motors.
As to charging, the ID.6 is believed to be using a 400-volt architecture, not the faster — but far more costly 800V system used by VW’s Porsche brand — and could plug into a 125 kW public charging station or simply charge up at home.
Based on what we’re seeing with the initial models using the MEB platform, we have some indication on charge timing. The ID.4, with its own 82 kWh pack, will require about 7.5 hours plugged into a 240V outlet to get a 100% top-off, according to VW. With a 125 kW public fast charger, meanwhile it can go from 5 to 80% of capacity in about 38 minutes.
We hope to learn even more between now and April when VW is expected to stage the formal unveiling of the ID.6.
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