Volkswagen unveils I.D. electric vehicle

German automaker Volkswagen Group (VW) has today unveiled its first ever long-range electric vehicle.

Called the Volkswagen I.D., the car was revealed to the public for the first time at the Paris Motor Show.

The battery-electric vehicle will incorporate a number of new technologies including new controls and connectivity features, as well as autonomous driving.

In terms of specifications, the Volkswagen I.D. will boast a 168-horsepower electric motor and will reportedly have a range of between 249 miles (400.7km) and 373 miles (600.3km) on a single battery charge.

As well, the car is able to accelerate from zero to 62 mph (100km/h) in less than 8 seconds and features a top speed of 99 mph (159.3km/h).

While at this stage the company is referring to the I.D. as a concept car, it plans to have the vehicle on sale to the public by 2020.

Moreover the I.D. is being built with a new design language which VW plans to implement throughout an expanding range of electric vehicles.

“The electric powertrain gives our designers far greater freedom. […] We had the unique opportunity to guide Volkswagen into a new era, and with the I.D we have taken this opportunity,” said Klaus Bischoff, head of design at Volkswagen.

Under the hood, this new fleet of electric vehicles to be produced by VW will feature what the company calls its ‘Modular Electric Drive kit’ (MEB). The I.D. is also the first vehicle to feature this MEB architecture.

Autonomous driving

Similar to other forthcoming electric vehicles teased by companies like Tesla Motors or Faraday Future, the Volkswagen I.D. will prominently feature autonomous driving capabilities.

The autonomous driving mode for the vehicle, which Volkswagen is calling I.D. Pilot, will reportedly be ready for deployment by 2025.

When I.D. Pilot is in use, the steering wheel within the Volkswagen I.D. will retract, providing more space for the ‘driver’ seat.

In order to be aware of its surroundings, this system will make use of laser, ultrasonic and radar sensors combined with side area view and front facing cameras.

The company also plans to utilize ambient lighting within the vehicle in order to indicate to the driver when the I.D. Pilot system is engaged.