Volkswagen wants to get in on Tesla's game as soon as possible.
The German automaker has long hinted that additional vehicles based on the same MEB platform architecture are coming, despite the fact that the brave and humble Volkswagen ID4 all-electric SUV has already been available for a few years in the United States and has undergone a refresh. We finally learned about the second teased upcoming VW EV, a sedan based on the ID Aero concept car that will officially be called the Volkswagen ID7, last year, in 2022. Last year, we finally learned about the upcoming all-electric ID Buzz van that will be sold in the United States.
The fact that the new Jaguar ID7 isn't a seven-seat SUV may frustrate those of us who are still reeling from the mess caused by the muddle caused by the muddled names of the Jaguar I-Pace EV and the E-Pace combustion model. With the Phaeton, CC, and Arteon, VW's commitment to the fledgling sedan segment over the years is admirable, and it continues with the ID7, which has a spacious 116.9-inch wheelbase.
VW is also able to fit a long-range battery pack that, according to its claims, will be good for up to approximately 700 kilometres on the European WLTP efficiency measurement because of the long distance between the wheels. We're curious about the EPA's range claim for the United States because VW claims the new ID7 will be sold on three continents. However, we'll know more about it later this year.
The snazzy digital paintwork on this ID7, which can be seen in the images, is still a prototype of the upcoming EV sedan that will be on display this week at CES 2023. The production version will be shown in the second quarter of 2023, so the wait won't be long. A unique layering process that enables a current to be supplied throughout the paintwork for the light-up effect makes the colorful camouflage actually emit light from 22 car panels.
According to VW, some layers are insulating, while others have current applied; 40 layers of paint were used to achieve the effect, which took weeks to complete. Unfortunately, the system as a whole adds too much weight to the car to ever be practical for production on this scale. It wouldn't be out of the question to think that this technology will return to something in the VW lineup at some point, perhaps in the interior of a Bugatti.
Additionally, VW claims that a brand-new 15-inch touchscreen unit and a new display interface concept will provide the ID7 with a customer-requested enhanced user experience. The air conditioning adjustments will now all be made using touch buttons and sliders on the screen to direct airflow and fan speed as part of this new interface's digital airflow management system. Short user commands, such as "my hands are cold," will also be available for these smart air vents, and the setup will also provide preconditioning of the cabin climate when it detects an approaching key fob.
Following the Chinese ID6 SUV and ID Buzz bus and VW's ID3, ID4, and ID5 models, the new ID7 will be the company's sixth model to be introduced on the MEB platform. The company suggests that the sedan's overall drag coefficient will be close to the ID Aero concept's previously announced 0.23 figure, making it one of the more aerodynamic models. Since the ID3 went on sale in Europe in 2020, VW has sold more than 500,000 MEB vehicles. The ID7 is just one of ten new VW EVs that will be available by 2026. We can't help but wonder what the remaining four will be if we are already counting six.