VW’s first fully autonomous I.D. Concept

The "Dieselgate" scandal of 2015 gave Volkswagen an awfully big headache, but it also prompted the German to take electrification a bit more seriously. In recent years, Volkswagen unleashed a series of EVs wearing the "I.D." badge that preview upcoming production models. The fourth vehicle in this series is called the I.D. Vizzion and showcased Volkswagen’s vision of a spacious, fully electric, and autonomous four-door sedan at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

The German automaker’s lineup of I.D. concept models offers a glimpse at what Volkswagen has planned for the future. Three previous I.D. models have made their way across international stages, but this, the I.D. Vizzion Concept, is the first one designed to be fully autonomous. It doesn’t even have the option for human input. Yep, there is no steering wheel, pedals, or shifter – it’s all handled by the computer. Volkswagen calls this computer the “digital chauffeur.”

Simply plug in your destination, and the car takes care of the rest while passengers sit back and use their new free time for other tasks. The I.D. Vizzion is part of the company’s aggressive electric vehicle campaign, which includes 20 all-new EVs by 2025, so a production model is due to follow at some point. Until that happens, let’s see what this concept car is all about

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion.

Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Exterior

  • Notchback body layout
  • Futuristic design
  • Simple, yet muscular cues
  • LED lighting
  • Short overhangs
  • Large wheels
  • Symmetrical roofline
2018 Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Exterior
- image 771800
The Vizzion shares many features with other I.D. concept, including the clean, crisp body lines, the muscular fenders, and the thin light units

Needless to say, the I.D. Vizzion looks significantly different than current Volkswagen production models, but this is far from surprising given that we’re looking at a concept. On the other hand, it shares many features with other I.D. concept, including the clean, crisp body lines, the muscular fenders, and the thin light units.

The I.D. Vizzion is a four-door sedan with roomy seating for four. The conventionally opening front door combined with rear-opening, suicide-style rear doors for an extremely open entrance into the Vizzion’s interior. The car has very short front overhang and nose, making the most of the car’s 16.7-foot length. It also has a short decklid, which gives it a notchback-style appearance. It seems that this body style is returning to popularity as more and more automakers are designing their concept cars this way.

2018 Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Exterior
- image 771758
The I.D. Vizzion’s overall design is futuristic, looking like something from Tron

The I.D. Vizzion’s overall design is futuristic, looking like something from Tron. The headlamps are really thin and continue into the grille with thinner strips that surround the "VW" badge. The trapezoidal grille has slim horizontal slats and it’s painted in the same color as the body, leaving only small sections above and below in black. The front bumper is clean and simple, while the front hood is rather muscular with raised edges.

Large fanblade-style wheels with low-profile tires give the side view a cool look. The muscular fenders and the almost symmetrical roofline further add to the basic yet sporty appearance. The rear fascia is very similar to the front, with white LED strips surrounding the badge and equally thin red taillights. The trunklid opening is wide for proper access and the bumper is as simple as they get. There are no exhaust pipes, which makes sense given that the concept car is fully electric.

Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Interior

  • Driverless concept
  • Four seats
  • Lots of room for passengers
  • State-of-the-art tech
  • Gesture control
  • "Virtual host" feature
2018 Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Interior
- image 771773
The seats and surrounding interior appear very comfortable and suitable for long rides across the country

The futuristic feel continues inside the VW I.D. Vizzion Concept. Most noticeable is the missing driver controls. The dashboard is simply an accent piece mounted far away from the front occupants. The only controls are mounted on the center console. Both the front and rear seats have circular knobs glowing in a fluorescent teal color with what appears to be wood trim surrounding it.

Those who ride in the I.D. Vizzion will be happy it drives itself. The seats and surrounding interior appear very comfortable and suitable for long rides across the country. Legroom appears to be extremely generous, while elbow room is aided by the division between the seats. There won’t be anyone squished in the rear middle seat in the I.D. Vizzion.

Volkswagen makes an excellent point about the I.D. Vizzion and its self-driving capabilities: it opens travel to the population segment that cannot currently drive. This includes the elderly, the young, and the disabled. The "digital chauffeur" comes with many assistance systems and enables the vehicle to drive, steer and navigate autonomously in traffic. A virtual host, with which passengers communicate via voice and gesture control, knows the personal preferences of the vehicle guests thanks to complete embedding into the digital ecosystem. It also adapts to each of them individually.

Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Drivetrain

  • Two electric motors
  • 111-kWh lithium-ion battery
  • 225-kW output
  • 112-mph top speed
  • A total range of 413 miles
2018 Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Drivetrain
- image 771786
Total range is estimated at up to 413 miles when regenerative braking is factored in

The I.D. Vizzion Concept gets its juice from a 111-kWh lithium-ion battery and a pair of electric motors that deliver 225 kW combined. That’s 302 horsepower, which is pretty good for an all-electric vehicle. No word on acceleration performance, but Volkswagen did say that the concept car will hit a top speed of 112 mph.

Total range is estimated at up to 413 miles when regenerative braking is factored in. That’s more than any other EV available at this point, but it remains to be seen if the production model will return something similar.

Naturally, without any input from a driver, the drivetrain becomes far less interesting. There’s no talk of manual transmissions, forced induction, or supercar-levels of grip to get excited about. Fully autonomous cars are basically fancy appliances that transport. They are not sources of entertainment as current vehicles can be – even the cheap ones not designed to be "fun." Nevertheless, the drivetrain’s range and charge time will become ever more important as the future becomes reality.


2018 Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Exterior
- image 771796

The I.D. Vizzion Concept represents what Volkswagen wants to accomplish by 2025. In fact, VW is scheduled to begin building the Golf-sized I.D. hatchback by 2020 in the electric compact car class. Behind that will come an electric crossover based on the I.D. Crozz, followed shortly by the production version of the I.D. Buzz – the minivan-style vehicle inspired by the original VW Type 2 Bus. The production version of the I.D. Vizzion will follow after that. Beyond these I.D. models, Volkswagen says it wants more than 20 electric models by 2025. Volkswagen has a long way to go in less than seven years and it will be a tough road ahead. Thankfully, shared technology and chassis architecture will undoubtedly help VW achieve this goal while producing “different” models that suit different needs.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept
    • Current legislation limiting full autonomy
    • Will likely be expensive


Volkswagen ID

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Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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Press Release

Volkswagen electric vehicle campaign: 20 all-electric vehicles by 2025
The I.D. VIZZION¹ supports the Volkswagen claim for future individual mobility. Its electric drive system makes the car clean in road traffic, and its automatic driving control will make it safe and much more comfortable. At the same time, this innovative concept car at the Geneva International Motor Show demonstrates how elegant and emotional the design of a vehicle of the future can be. Inside the I.D. VIZZION, a completely new feeling of driving and living is created without a steering wheel or visible controls.

  • I.D. VIZZION: the AUTO-mobile of the future – driving autonomously and electrically
  • I.D. VIZZION: innovative technology makes the car clean, safe and comfortable
  • I.D. VIZZION: futuristic interior and control concepts
  • The potential of I.D. Family models: from a compact Golf-class electric vehicle to a fully automated premium class saloon

The largest model and innovative product campaign in the history of Volkswagen is entering its next stage. After presenting the first all-electric vehicles of the new I.D. Family models , the Volkswagen brand is now showing, for the first time, a concept of an autonomously driving automobile. Volkswagen is currently advancing the development of modern vehicles in all areas. The goal: to apply innovative technology to making the automobile cleaner, safer and much more convenient and comfortable. With these new qualities, the car will be able to further extend its significance and value for future mobility. Furthermore, use of this car will be made possible for customer groups who cannot drive today, e.g. because of their age.

The new I.D. VIZZION concept car is the fourth member of the Volkswagen I.D. Family. With its innovative technology, fully-automated operating concept and elegant form, the premium class saloon is showing the direction Volkswagen is taking in the technology and design of its future electric models.

Inside the I.D. VIZZION, engineers have systematically exploited the potentials of autonomous driving. The ‘digital chauffeur’ with its many assistance systems assumes control of the vehicle – without a steering wheel or visible controls. For the ‘driver’ and passengers this signifies a new dimension of safety and comfort. The concept car drives, steers and navigates autonomously in traffic, enabling passengers to freely structure their time during the drive. A virtual host, with which passengers communicate via voice and gesture control, knows the personal preferences of the vehicle guests – thanks to complete embedding into the digital eco-system – and it adapts to each of them individually.

The system power of the 5.11 metre long I.D. VIZZION is 225 kW. Its top speed is 180 km/h (111 mph). The 111 kWh lithium-ion batteries enable a driving range of up to 665 kilometres (413 miles) when braking regeneration is factored in. Based on its intelligent management, the two electric motors cooperate with maximum efficiency and drive all four wheels of the saloon.

The I.D. VIZZION clearly demonstrates the great potential of the all-electric architecture from Volkswagen. It is the technological backbone of future Volkswagen electric vehicles, and it enables long driving ranges and maximum space utilisation at optimal costs. By 2025, the brand plans to introduce more than 20 electric vehicle models. Starting in 2020, the I.D.² will launch as an electric car in the compact class; this will be followed, at short intervals, by a new electric SUV – the I.D. CROZZ³ – and the I.D. BUZZ⁴ which is a spacious saloon.


1) 2) 3) 4) The concept vehicle has not yet gone on sale, and therefore Directive 1999/94 EC does not apply.


About the Volkswagen brand: “We make the future real”
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is present in more than 150 markets throughout the world and produces vehicles at over 50 locations in 14 countries. In 2017, Volkswagen produced 6.23 million vehicles including bestselling models such as the Golf, Tiguan, Jetta or Passat. Currently, 198,000 people work for Volkswagen across the globe. The brand also has 7,700 dealerships with 74,000 employees.

Volkswagen is forging ahead consistently with the further development of automobile production.

E-mobility, Smart mobility and the digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic topics for the future.

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