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Can it just be a coincidence that Volkswagen’s long-delayed ID.Aero concept car is finally being revealed just before Hyundai shows its Ioniq6 EV?
Originally scheduled to be shown in April at this year’s Covid-cancelled Beijing auto show, the ID.Aero prefaces the ID.6 production car, which is due to start production in both China and Europe later this year.
It’s a slightly confusing naming protocol, with Volkswagen Europe and North America pushing to use “ID.6” for the production version of the ID.Aero, even though China has already deployed “ID.6” for the stretched version of the ID.4.
The production version of the five-meter ID.Aero will be the Volkswagen brand’s new global EV flagship, sitting atop a range that already includes the ID.3, the ID.4, the ID.5 and the ID.6, with the quirkier ID.Buzz lurking way over in left field.
Based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB (modular electric matrix) architecture, the ID.Aero will eke out 620km (385 miles) of EV range from its 77kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Planned to be built with both rear- and all-wheel drive variants, the GTX versions of the ID.Aero will reach 62mph in the mid five-second range.
Its production range is capable of being both higher and lower than that, with the MEB platform already boasting battery packs of up to 84kWh for this size of car, or down to 52kWh.
The Volkswagen EV equivalent of the Passat and the Arteon, the ID.Aero will become the Volkswagen brand’s EV flagship, with Volkswagen boasting of enormous rear legroom thanks to a 3000mm wheelbase, and a slippery shape, with a drag coefficient of 0.23.
“With the ID. AERO show car, we are revealing a preview of the next member of the ID. Family,” Volkswagen passenger cars CEO Ralf Brandstätter confirmed.
“A car with an emotional and at the same time extremely aerodynamic design, a range of over 600 kilometres, an extraordinary amount of space and a premium interior.
“With our Accelerate strategy, we are intensively driving forward the electrification of our model range. Following the ID.4, this model will be our next global car for Europe, China and the US.”
The ID.Aero is a sign that Volkswagen is now a proper player in the EV field, as it closes in on the global EV market lead. It’s also looking both ways, defending against a surging Kia and Hyundai EV fleet and attacking both Mercedes-Benz and Tesla
The mid-sized EV sedan will be priced below premium EVs like the Mercedes-Benz EQE and the Tesla Model S, and it is planned to be a mainstay of the Volkswagen EV lineup in China, Europe and North America.
The ID.Aero’s design and engineering has been lead by Volkswagen’s Chinese arm (as it was for the, err, other ID.6), and the Middle Kingdom predicted to be the biggest market for the production car.
China will have two versions of the ID.6, one for its SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) partnership and one for FAW (First Automobile Works), and it will be the fourth EV in each joint venture’s Chinese lineup.
Riding on 22-inch wheels and tyres, the rear end of the ID.Aero is drawn in, and all surfaces fit flush to the bodywork.
The concept car replaces traditional door handles with illuminated touch surfaces to reduce drag, while it has a strong shoulder line as well.
Finished in Polar Light Blue metallic paint, the ID.Aero uses a high-gloss black roof to contrast its lines, while it retains the honeycomb ID family grille treatment.
There is the now-traditional strip light across the nose (though it is illegal to illuminate the Volkswagen logo in Europe) and it uses Matrix LED headlights that wrap into the front quarter panels.
The rear end has a darker light strip between its LED taillights as well.
The ID.Aero isn’t the biggest car off the MEB architecture – that honour goes to the ID.Buzz – but it’s the biggest traditional car to use the hastily-engineered Volkswagen Group platform.