The VW ID Space Vizzion Electric Wagon: It's Going To Be Real Soon
This EV wagon will reach production, and VW says it's for North America, too.
Volkswagen has shown some pretty far-out vehicles in its series of ID electric concept cars. There was the ID Buzz, an electrified throwback to the iconic Type 2 van. Later came the ID Buggy, a roofless, doorless, bright green beach cruiser. Surely VW will also create vehicles more aligned with consumer interests, like the ID Roomzz crossover, to expand the collection. Enter the ID Space Vizzion station wagon. Wait, what?
Today, buyers in the U.S. don't exactly leap toward wagons. There are only a handful available on the market, and they're vastly outnumbered by crossovers and SUVs. Yet Volkswagen has decided to pursue this type of vehicle for its latest concept, and went so far as to profess its intent to bring a production verzzion—sorry, version—of the ID Space Vizzion to dealership lots by 2022. VW envisions the new vehicle for both Europe and North America.
Yes, an all-electric Volkswagen wagon is being planned. There's a catch, but we'll get to that later. Nevertheless, if the concept's specs are any indication of what's to come, there's plenty to be excited about.
Riding on the Volkswagen Group's MEB architecture, the ID Space Vizzion packs an 82-kWh lithium-ion battery flat and low in the vehicle's floor. That drives a 205-kW (275-hp) electric motor on the rear axle; Volkswagen is also toying with an all-wheel-drive variant supplemented by a 75-kW (101-hp) motor to turn the front wheels. It'll scoot respectably, with a targeted zero-to-60-mph time of five seconds flat. Range between recharges is projected at 300 miles on the EPA cycle.
That's largely thanks to the concept's super-slippery 0.24 drag coefficient. Cutouts in the front bumper, hood area, and spoiler allow air to flow through the body, while the 22-inch turbine-style wheels are mostly enclosed to minimize turbulence. Smoothing airflow a bit further are the door handles—or lack thereof—which are simply backlit touchpads that activate with a press. They're pure concept fantasy with no chance of making it to production. Or are they?
Other than a few details, like those huge wheels, brushed metal window trim, and panoramic moonroof, the body looks close to production-ready. The character lines and sculpting appear similar to Volkswagen models currently in production. Even the side mirrors are nearly life-size. Some of the exterior lighting will be toned down for the real world, but its interactive dimming and effects, including when the driver approaches or locks the vehicle, are similar to what's been seen on other Volkswagen Group vehicles.
The interior, too, has some to-be-expected concept car exuberance, but it doesn't seem too far-fetched. Impossible to miss is the horizontally oriented 15.6-inch infotainment display, running an early build of Volkswagen's updated infotainment display. Unlike certain electric competitors, there's a smaller display behind the steering wheel to show critical information including speed and charge status. Seat stitching and perforation will likely be dialed back to save costs, but Volkswagen's use of sustainable, animal-free materials—such as a leatherette derived from apple juice production leftovers—seems to follow industry trends. It's also sure to have a center rear seat instead of the fixed armrest seen on the concept. This is a practical wagon, after all.
Or is it? Therein lies the catch, and it's a bit of a head-scratcher. At first glance, the ID Space Vizzion presents classic wagon shaping, but Volkswagen never refers to it as one. Instead it's a "Gran Turismo with the proportions of an SUV." The crossover comparison is debatable, but that the floor-mounted battery pack changes exterior and interior measurements isn't. Despite the wheels being stuffed way up in their arches, it's overall a bit taller than combustion-powered wagons of old. Inside, passengers may find their knees a bit closer to their chins due to the battery taking up precious floor space. That aside, Volkswagen wisely contained the pack's size to fit between the axles, allowing for some underfloor storage in the generous trunk. No matter what it's called, Volkswagen says it wants the ID Space Vizzion to start to redefine what consumers consider crossovers. Does that signal a nascent wagon resurgence to flourish in the years ahead? Let's hope so.