In 2025, two years earlier than initially planned, the Volkswagen intends to launch a new model in the compact electric car segment with a starting price of around 20,000 euros. At the opening of the IAA Mobility, the German brand presented the concept called ID.Life.
The vision of a small all-electric car for the city is to combine sustainability and digitization with an exceptionally flexible usage concept. ID.Life can also be used as a cinema, game room or simply to relax outdoors.
“We have adapted ID.Life to the needs of younger customer groups. We are sure of this: In the future, the car will be even more an expression of an attitude to life. For tomorrow’s customers, it’s not just about mobility, but more about what. “what the car experience can be. ID.Life is our answer.” (VW Brand CEO Ralf Brandstätter)
ID.Life’s design should be particularly “clear, reserved and of high quality”. Decorative elements, additional components and a complex mix of materials were omitted this time around – this connects the car with BMW’s Circular concept, which was introduced almost at the same time.
The vehicle’s horizontal division between the body, the glass surfaces and the roof also contributes to the clean appearance. An individually designed, removable roof made of “air chamber fabric” (probably a part based on the air cushion principle) allows for an outdoor feel and also reduces the vehicle’s weight.
An electric motor drives the front wheels; This is where it differs from previous MEB vehicles, which have either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. But ID.Life is also based on MEB, albeit in a new, shorter version that was developed especially for compact cars.
Despite the simplistic proposal, Volkswagen’s concept is powerful: the electric motor should produce 172 kW (233 hp), which takes the car to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. The 62 kWh battery (gross) guarantees autonomy of around 400 kilometers in the WLTP cycle.
ID.Life also proves the high flexibility of MEB. From small cars to vans, all vehicle concepts can be implemented on this platform.
ID.Life’s sustainable profile is particularly reflected in the materials. Wood chips are used as a natural coloring agent and bio-based hardener for varnish. The fabric of the air chamber for the roof consists of recycled PET bottles. Inside, wood is used for the dashboard and in the finish on the back. And “bio-oil”, natural rubber and rice husks serve as raw material for the tires.
The car is also equipped for the digital experiences of the young generation. It can be converted into a cinema or game room in just a few simple steps, because a game console and projector are on board. If necessary, a projection surface extends outside the panel. Additional devices can be connected via an indoor 230 volt outlet.
The seating concept is extremely flexible. In this way, not only the rear but also the front seat can be completely folded down. Numerous configurations are possible, from cinema seats and a two-metre-long bed to a cargo variant with plenty of storage space.
Part of the functional concept is that cameras and a screen replace indoor and outdoor mirrors. Essential steering functions are controlled via a touch-sensitive control panel on the open-top hexagonal steering wheel. A smartphone can also be integrated. In this way, navigation can be performed using a separate device. Music, movies and games are “perfectly” integrated and displayed on the vehicle’s projection surface.
The expansion of the ID line up to the €20,000 price range is an important step towards a range of all-electric models. As is well known, VW wants to increase the share of electric cars in sales in Europe to at least 70% and in North America and China to at least 50% by the end of the decade.
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