I.D. concept looks like an all-electric Golf from 2020

Volkswagen has been building electric vehicles for quite a few years now, but the recent "Dieselgate" scandal prompted the German manufacturer to focus even more on all-electric drivetrains. Having set a daring goal to sell a million EVs a year by 2025, Volkswagen is previewing its electric future with the I.D. concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Described as "the first Volkswagen in a completely new fleet of highly innovative electric vehicles," the I.D. also sports a new design DNA that will become the norm for future VW-badged EVs. And by "future" I mean 2020, because that’s when the I.D. is scheduled to arrive in dealerships.

The pictures reveal a compact hatchback which seems to be about the size of a Golf. Its styling is also somewhat similar to the popular model, and this probably has to do with the fact that Volkswagen plans to launch the I.D. "parallel to the Golf," which could mean it will hit the market as the new e-Golf. The outer design is fairly simple yet sporty, with bright-blue accents contrasting the white paint. The small headlamps with LED strips as surrounds, the grille-free front fascia, and the slender taillights give it the futuristic look you’d expect from a next-generation electric model.

The interior of the I.D. also showcases VW’s view on its future EVs. It’s designed to offer a new spatial experience dubbed "Open Space," that features fully automated driving (not exactly shocking, huh?), and a retractable steering wheel for enhanced roominess when the car is in automated mode ("I.D. Pilot"). However, VW says that the autonomous system won’t be offered until 2025. The vehicle also has the ability to receive parcels if its owner isn’t at home. There’s no word as to how that works, but it sounds like a cool convenience feature.

Finally, the company says that the I.D. is the first compact based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform and that it features a 125-kW (168 horsepower) drivetrain with a range of between 400 to 600 km (249 to 373 miles) on a single charge.

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Why it matters

On paper, the I.D. is a sweet concept that previews the perfect electric car. Why perfect? Well, first, it’s about the same size as a Golf, which means perfect dimensions for the city but with plenty of passenger and luggage room. Second, the fact that it will be launched alongside the Golf could mean it might be part of the family, and thus benefit from the popularity of the iconic nameplate. Heck, it even looks like a Golf from the future. Third, it’s plenty powerful for a family car and it has an estimated range of more than 250 miles on a single charge. Overall, it’s a significantly better bundle than the XL1, Volkswagen’s previous attempt to build a compact green car. On the flip side, the I.D. is just a concept for now, and if the past is any indication, a lot of things can go wrong between now and 2020, which could alter these exciting specs.

Press Release

1. I.D. is the first Volkswagen in a completely new fleet of highly innovative electric vehicles.

2. I.D. is immediately recognisable as a zero-emission vehicle thanks to a newly developed design DNA for electric cars.

3. I.D. is driven by an electric motor with an output of 125 kW and has a range of between 400 and 600 kilometres on a single battery charge.

4. I.D. has an interior that offers an entirely new spatial experience with the Open Space.

5. I.D. will be launched as a compact electric car in 2020 parallel to the Golf.

6. As a concept car, I.D. gives us a first tangible glimpse of fully automated driving – this mode will be offered from 2025 onwards.

7. I.D. retracts its multifunction steering wheel into the dashpad when in fully automated mode ("I.D. Pilot").

8. I.D. can receive parcels using a new delivery service, if its owner isn’t at home.

9. I.D. is the first compact Volkswagen based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB).

10. Volkswagen has set itself the goal of selling a million electric cars a year by 2025.

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