VW introduces electric SUV for Chinese market, with wireless charging and Level 4 autonomy

Underlining global automakers’ increasing focus on China, Volkswagen unveiled a new electric SUV based on the I.D. Roomzz concept at the Shanghai auto show. It’s VW’s second electric crossover concept, following the smaller Crozz, which debuted two years ago in Shanghai.

The production I.D. Roomzz will be a three-row, seven-seat model that will “launch initially” in China starting in 2021, and will be VW’s flagship EV in the Chinese market.

VW CEO Herbert Diess said the I.D. Roomzz will eventually be rolled out to other markets but offered no details. VW Sales and Marketing Director Juergen Stackmann told AutoExpress that the SUV will someday be sold in the US, but is unlikely to be offered in Europe, where buyers have less appetite for “extra large” vehicles.

The production crossover will be based on VW’s scalable MEB electric architecture. It features an 82 kWh battery pack and two electric motors: a 150 kW motor in the rear and a 75 kW unit in the rear. Wireless charging will be available. VW says the new EV will offer a range of 280 miles (on Europe’s new WLTP test cycle), 0-100 kph acceleration of 6.6 seconds, and a software-limited top speed of 112 mph.

The concept features flexible seating, making it “a lounge on wheels for a life on the road.” It’s designed to offer Level 4 autonomous driving, meaning it will be able to drive itself in most situations. In self-driving mode, the steering wheel will shift to an off position to provide more seating space. The seats can be rotated inward and reclined when the car is in autonomous mode.

“We plan to produce more than 22 million electric cars in the next 10 years,” said Herbert Diess, adding that around half of VW’s engineers are now working on products destined for China. VW’s Head of E-mobility, Thomas Ulbrich, said the Volkswagen Group will be producing 33 EVs by mid-2023, using the MEB platform to build EVs under the Skoda, Seat, Audi and VW brands, and that the company is converting 16 factories worldwide for mass production of EVs.

Source: Automotive News

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