Your move, Tesla.
The Volkswagen ID.4 continues to be a strong seller for VW in America, but the German automaker is on a mission to make electric mobility more accessible and affordable. There have been rumors VW is plotting a new entry-level EV called the ID.2 that will slot below the ID.3. Now, Volkswagen is previewing the ID.2 at the 2021 Munich Motor Show with the ID. Life electric city car concept. The production version will launch in 2025 and cost around 20,000 euros (around $23,700), allowing Volkswagen to compete with Tesla's small $25,000 electric city car due to arrive in 2023.
Based on a smaller version of Volkswagen's modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform designed specifically for the small car segment, the ID. Life is powered by a single electric motor generating 230 horsepower, enabling the compact EV to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
Providing the juice is a 57-kWh high-voltage battery enabling a WLTP-estimated range of around 400 kilometers (249 miles). For the first time in an MEB-based VW, power is sent to the front wheels only: the ID.4, on the other hand, is available with RWD or AWD.
Visually, the ID. Life stands out from the rest of VW's ID. range with its boxy, retro-inspired design. A removable textile roof made from 100 percent recycled PET bottles also allows for open-air driving while reducing the car's weight. Inside the high-tech interior, the ID. Life is equipped with a games console, a projector, and a projection screen that extends from the dashboard, converting the cabin into a mobile movie theater.
The front and rear seat bench can also be folded down and converted into movie theater-style seats or a 78-inch bed. Alternatively, the seats can be folded to increase cargo space. The interior also features extensive use of recyclable materials, including bio-oil, natural rubber, and rice husks.
“The ID. Life proves once again how uniquely flexible the MEB is. The platform is suitable for vehicles of all types, from small cars to vans,” said Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management for Development. “It's the most scalable electrical architecture in the industry. We're just beginning to tap into the potential of MEB. Performance, charging capacity and range will continue to improve with each new model and software update.”
Exterior and interior mirrors are replaced with cameras, while essential driving functions are controlled with a touch panel on the hexagonal steering wheel. Instead of incorporating a traditional infotainment screen, navigation and streaming services are displayed on the user's smartphone or tablet that attaches to the dashboard. A smartphone can also be integrated into the operating system, while music, films, and games stored on the device can be displayed on the projection screen.
With its retro-inspired design, the ID. Life design reminds us of the funky Honda e electric city car. Unfortunately, like the Honda e, it's unlikely the production version of the ID.2 will go on sale in America since it will be too small for the US market.