2021 Volkswagen ID.4
With the launch of the 2021 ID.4, Volkswagen joins the growing list of automakers bringing long-range electric vehicles to the U.S. market. Although the German carmaker has offered electric vehicles before, none have had the range and capability of this new model. A small crossover SUV that fits conveniently into VW’s U.S. lineup, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 provides utility and performance in a modern yet familiar package.
A Proper Volkswagen
“The ID.4 was engineered, loaded and priced to win the hearts of SUV owners who are simply ready to go electric — and fall in love with Volkswagen again,” said Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh. “It drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan and the purpose of the Beetle. All the best things about VW in one package,” Keogh observed.
Right on Time
Four years ago at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen introduced the first I.D. electric concept vehicle — an initial look at VW’s plans for a series of EVs. At that Paris show, the German automaker announced with conviction that the first production model would arrive in 2020. Since that time the automaker has been showing concept electric vehicles destined to be part of the ID family, and this ID.4 lives up to the automaker’s timeline.
Like a Beetle
The new ID.4 will be built on Volkswagen’s new modular electric drive architecture, designed for use in multiple VW vehicles. And though the ID.4 rides on the most advanced VW electric platform to date, the small crossover still has ties to the past. The ID.4 platform has its electric motor mounted at the rear — the same location as the original rear-engine people’s car, the Beetle.
The ID.4 will initially come to market with a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor producing 201 horsepower and 228 lb-ft of torque. Later next year, Volkswagen plans to launch the ID.4 AWD which will have two electric motors generating 302 horsepower.
Power for the ID.4 comes from an 82 kWh battery pack comprised of 288 pouch cells in 12 modules. The pack is housed in a lightweight aluminum structure bolted to the frame for better rigidity and a lower center of gravity, both of which should improve overall drivability. Volkswagen estimates the driving range to be about 250 miles on a single charge.
As a further incentive to get U.S. buyers into VW electric vehicles, the ID.4 will come with three years of no-cost fast charging on the Electrify America network. On a Level 2 charger the ID.4 should gain 33 miles of range for every hour of hookup; a full charge would take about 7.5 hours. With a DC fast-charger, the ID.4 can go from 5 to 80 percent charge in about 40 minutes.
The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has a clean look up front thanks to the absence of a radiator. Large LED headlights seem to wrap around the fenders, and an available light bar connects the headlights and outlines the hood, meeting in the middle at a large VW logo that can also be illuminated. This setup represents a new style for VW — likely to be seen on future electric models.
At the rear, the 2021 ID.4 gets similar treatment with LED lights spanning the liftgate, giving the ID.4 a wide look. A large VW logo at the rear can also be illuminated if the driver so chooses.
About 5 inches shorter and 2 inches lower than the Volkswagen Tiguan, the ID.4 will be the smallest crossover in the VW lineup. However, with no internal combustion engine or driveline to take up space, the interior of the ID.4 happens to be similar in size to the larger Tiguan.
The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is the most advanced vehicle in VW’s lineup, so it’s futuristic-looking interior comes as no surprise. In front of the driver sits a 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit that can be configured via touch controls on the steering wheel. The gear selector sits directly to the right of the display, but is more akin to a big rocker switch rather than a typical gearshift.
At the center of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4’s dashboard resides a 10-inch Discover Pro infotainment display angled slightly towards the driver. A larger 12-inch Discover Pro Max display will also be available. This system manages navigation, telematics and entertainment as well as vehicle settings. Interaction is via touch, gesture or voice with almost all physical buttons and controls eliminated.
All ID.4 models will come with a suite of advanced safety features called IQ.DRIVE. This includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Dynamic road sign display, park distance control and automatic high-beam headlights are also included.
Pricing and Availability
The base rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro will have a starting price of $39,995 when it arrives in the first quarter of 2021. A bit later a dual-motor ID.4 AWD Pro will come to market, priced at $43,695. A Statement package adds a range of features including a panoramic fixed-glass roof, a larger display screen, premium LED projector headlights and an adaptive front lighting system. The package can be added to either variant for $4,500. All ID.4 models are eligible for up to $7,500 of federal tax credit.
The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 launches in America in late 2020 with a limited-run 1st Edition priced at $43,995. This version will be well equipped with everything from the Statement package to some unique features such as Play and Pause logos on the accelerator and brake pedals. Customers interested in reserving a new ID.4 can do so at VW.com with a refundable $100 deposit. Initially the ID.4 will be built at Volkswagen’s Zwickau factory in Germany; however, by 2022 Volkswagen plans to begin production at its Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee.