Golf Sportsvan’s Body Probably Hides A Larger, Family-Friendly Brother of the Volkswagen ID Neo

After the first journalist drives of the Volkswagen ID Neo prototype, we can almost understand what Volkswagen wants to do with its compact electric car. The Volkswagen ID Neo is a Golf-sized hatchback created on top of Volkswagen’s new MEB architecture, and it will be unveiled later this year. It is a close competitor to the Nissan Leaf. Yet, as Volkswagen promoted it as a car with the size of a Golf but roominess of the Passat, I am sure it will embark on its way to steal some buyers from the likes of the Kia E Niro, the Hyundai Kona Electric, or other similarly sized electric cars and crossovers.

However, the car that hides under the body of the Golf Sportsvan shown here is probably a bigger, family version of the same kin. Make no mistake; this one is also based on the same ID Neo architecture. Apparently, Volkswagen has plans to introduce as many as 50 new electric models by 2025. The ID Neo will create an electric VW avalanche and, at first, it will be priced in a similar bracket as the Golf Diesel. I believe that the electric Golf Sportsvan’s brother will cost a tad more.


2020 Volkswagen ID Neo
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With a length of 167.3 inches, the new Volkswagen ID Neo is really close to the Volkswagen Golf in length.

However, thanks to a dedicated MEB electric car platform, Volkswagen managed to stretch its wheelbase by almost 4 inches.

That put the ID Neo’s wheelbase at 107.7 inches. The first glimpses of the ID Neo showcased a swept front end with really short overhangs and a short front bonnet. This basically means that the room inside the cabin has been considerably improved compared to the Golf.

Obviously, spy photos of the electric car hiding beneath the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan’s body suggest that this is yet another version of the Volkswagen ID idiom. Bear in mind that this isn’t the ID Crozz that Volkswagen announced some time ago. Personally, I do think that this is an even more family-centric version of the ID Neo. After all, the Golf Sportsvan’s body is considerably chubbier than that of the Golf, or the ID Neo for that matter. I will go on a limb here and imagine the same wheels, the same front and back lights, and the same muscular silhouette as that of the ID Neo. Of course, all of this will be adjusted to the basic shape that resembles that of a Golf Sportsvan. After all, just take a glimpse at the ID compact concept body, and I am sure you can imagine similar features on something as big as the Golf Sportsvan.

As this will obviously be a modern, electric people carrier, the production model will feature similar wheels to those on the ID Neo prototype, full LED headlights and taillights, as well as a completely novel Volkswagen approach to design.

It will be futuristic, sophisticated, and will probably be available with paint schemes we haven’t seen before on Volkswagen vehicles apart from ID concepts.


2020 Volkswagen ID Neo
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The only clear glimpse into the interior of the new Volkswagen ID range of cars comes from the Volkswagen concept ID cars. Obviously, the concept cars did have some features that were just too “out-there,” but they did tell us that Volkswagen is working on an all-new interior for its range of the ID cars.

Journalists that actually test drove the ID Neo in South Africa could not film the interior as everything was covered with cloth.

They did peak underneath and reported that all is new inside - the buttons, the shapes of the dash, the central screen, and even the door covers. Maybe even more importantly, the ID Neo’s interior seems to be really comfortable. Far more comfortable than the interior in the Golf. This only leads me to conclude that the electric car with a basic shape and dimensions of the Golf Sportsvan will have an even roomier interior. Roomier than in the ID Neo and definitely roomier compared to the Golf Sportsvan.

Now, the features inside will definitely include:

  • Armrests mounted on the front seats (not positioned between the front seats)
  • A massive 10+ inch screen on top of the center of the dash
  • A digital instrument cluster
  • Some sort of a head-up display
  • Advanced voice recognition software (Volkswagen is yet to introduce one relatively similar to the Hey Mercedes feature in Mercedes vehicles)
  • Gesture controls for the infotainment
  • Possibly some sort of a Level 3 autonomous system

Obviously, this will launch the compact family hauler into the world of the most advanced electric vehicles.


2020 Volkswagen ID Neo
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The MEB platform (Modularer Elektrobaukasten or Modular Electric Drive Matrix) is probably even more scalable than the MQB platform Volkswagen popularized with the last gen of its ICE powered vehicles. This platform is basically a backbone of the whole Volkswagen electric onslaught, and it offers a few important benefits:

  • It enables massive parts sharing (on a far greater scale compared with the modular platform of the standard ICE-cars)
  • It can be adjusted for basically any unibody construction (crossover, compact, MPV, sports car, or anything imaginable)
  • It includes a standardized battery, drivetrain, and suspension components (FYI, it has rear multi-link suspension)
  • It will dramatically lower production cost over the mass production vehicles
Volkswagen Tries to Impress with the CROZZ II – Because One Ugly SUV Wasn't Enough High Resolution Drivetrain
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With that said, we did learn that the compact ID cars will be rear wheel driven.

The least powerful version will have a 170-horsepower electric motor, but on the far end, you can expect a 300 horsepower I.D.

In that case, apart from the rear-positioned motor, the ID will have an additional motor for the front axle. That will make it an AWD car and, according to Frank Bekemeier, Chief Technology Officer for e-Mobility at Volkswagen, the one with 300 horsepower is really quick and a lot of fun to drive.

At least that’s the point he made to journalists who were driving the ID Neo.

As expected, Volkswagen is adamant to ease your range anxiety with the new line of ID electric vehicles. The one hiding under the Golf Sportsvan body will, most likely, have three different battery options so range will vary between 205 and more than 300 miles on the WLTP scale. If you want the EPA numbers, slash something like 10 percent of these numbers, and you will get a rough estimate.

Volkswagen Tries to Impress with the CROZZ II – Because One Ugly SUV Wasn't Enough High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 730415

As is the case with the standard Volkswagen ID Neo, the bigger car will most definitely support 7.2 kW and 11 kW charging. Yet, the charging system will most likely support a 125 kW DC fast-charging system.


2020 Volkswagen ID Neo
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Again, the only lead we have on the mystery family hauler under the Golf Sportsvan’s body is the ID Neo. Volkswagen officials continuously report that it will be in the price range of the Golf Diesel. Which Golf diesel though? As the performance of the entry-level ID Neo almost matches the performance of the Golf GTD, I will have to go with that one. In Germany, the Volkswagen Golf GTD sells for $38,000. Obviously, a slightly bigger version of the ID Neo will be a tad more expensive. I’d say that the price of the electric car you see on the pictures as the Golf Sportsvan will be at $40,000. In Germany, mind you. In the U.S., I’d estimate the price at 36ish grand. If it ever comes, that is!


Hyundai Kona Electric

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
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With a price of $36,450, the Hyundai Kona EV definitely looks like an obvious competitor to the ID Neo. Now, I find the Kona EV to be a highly interesting and fashionable electric car, but I doubt it is as comfortable as Volkswagen ID cars. The thing is that the Kona EV feels somewhat conventional inside and, as we have learned, Volkswagen’s ID cars will be anything but. The price, however, may be the biggest Hyundai Kona EV asset as many suggest that after incentives its price may be considerably lower than suggested MSRP.

Read our full review on the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

Kia E-Niro

2019 Kia e-Niro
- image 798370

The electric Kia Niro has much the same assets as the Hyundai Kona, although it looks far more conventional. As its Hyundai brother, it does have a 201 horsepower electric motor that definitely gives it a lively performance. However, the range of 239 miles is somewhat lackluster. Interestingly enough, only a day or two after revealing the official range of 239 miles, Kia removed the range rating from its official materials. We are in for a change for the better, for sure.

Read our full review on the 2019 Kia E-Niro.


2020 Volkswagen ID Neo
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With the new electric car, larger than the compact ID Neo, already in the late testing phase, Volkswagen clearly wants us to know that it is confident in the development of its ID electric cars. While I am stumped by this mysterious electric EV, I am quite sure it is actually a larger version of the ID Neo. The ID Neo and this new car will be in the same relationship as the Golf and the Golf Sportsvan. While the shape and the size between the two will be different, the tech will be much the same - inside out!

  • Leave it
    • It will look like a lazy MPV
    • It is not a Golf

Further Reading

2016 Volkswagen I.D. Concept High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 691045

Read our full review on the 2016 Volkswagen ID Concept.

Volkswagen Tries to Impress with the CROZZ II – Because One Ugly SUV Wasn't Enough High Resolution Exterior
- image 730425

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen I.D. Crozz II

2017 Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ Concept Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 713927

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen I.D. Crozz

2017 Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 700707

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen I.D. Buzz.

The 2020 Volkswagen ID Visits South Africa as Part of It's Final Testing Phase
- image 810696

The 2020 Volkswagen ID Visits South Africa as Part of It’s Final Testing Phase

Next member of the VW ID family hiding under Golf Sportsvan body.

With Volkswagen promising to reveal loads of zero-emission models (27 models in the pipeline for now) until the end of 2022 its not strange that we se some mules out and testing. Hiding under the body of an Golf Sportsvan in this case gives VW the opportunity to test a lot of things before they need to go out testing

in production body prototypes.

But what model is Volkswagen testing here ? We know that the first ID model is a smaller hatchback most likely to be called Neo. The ID Neo has already been tested as a camouflaged prototype by some journalists but this mule is hiding something bigger. The question is if it will be a MPV like car just as the Golf Sportsvan or a smaller SUV model. We know there will also be a bigger SUV in size of the Tiguan based on the ID Crozz concept.

They will all use the new electric MEB platform that allows 4 different wheelbase lengths and battery sizes from 48 to 111 kWh. The engine will be at the back and power the rear axle (power between 170-204 hp) unless you go for the optional all-wheel-drive and add an motor for the front axle as well. This will then allow ca 300 hp.

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