Shanghai Motor Show – This is the Volkswagen ID Crozz concept – which points towards a crossover version of the company’s new family of electric cars, planned for production from 2020.
It's a sporty all-wheel drive crossover with five doors, 225kW, a top speed of 180km/h and a range of up to 500km (calculated from the now-discredited NEDC protocol, so take that last one with a pinch of salt). VW also claims an 80 percent charge time of just 30 minutes from a 150kW DC fast-charging supply.
Built on a new platform called the Modular Electric Drive Matrix, it’s a bit smaller than the new Tiguan but has the same interior volume because the electric drives have practically no overhang, so the axles are pushed right out to the ends of the chassis and the long floorpan between them provides maximum cabin volume as well as lots of underfloor space for batteries.
The Crozz has a 150kW/310Nm electric motor driving the rear axle, with a 75kW/140Nm coaxial motor in the front axle, for a total of 225kW, powered by an 83kWh lithium ion battery pack under the floor. The rear axle is the default drive but, as soon as driving dynamics make it necessary, power is automatically diverted to the front axle until both motors are at full power, giving a 33:66 drive split.
The light patterns from the C-shaped LED daytime running lights and five-strip LED headlights merge to form electronic, moving 'eyes', which greet you when you unlock the car and also communicate with other road users when the car is driving itself.
Volkswagen is not only planning full production of electric cars from 2020, but within five years from then (by 2025) it hopes to introduce fully autonomous driving – and the hardware for that is already in the Crozz concept. When you’re driving, a panel of capacitative switches in the steering wheel controls gear selection, indicators, navigation, telephony and audio volume.
But press the VW logo in the middle of the steering wheel for three seconds, and it retracts into the dashboard and becomes part of the display, as the car takes over the driving. To take back control, simply touch the logo or press either the brake or accelerator pedal.
A 26cm touchscscreen in the middle of the futuristic dash controls infotainment functions via four different function-related tiles, such as 'Messages', 'Media', 'Telephone' and 'Navigation', while a 15cm screen in front of the driver shows driving information or, if required, becomes a dedicated navigation screen. Driver and front-seat passenger sit on one-piece seats with integrated seatbelt guides, while the rear seats can tip up like cinema seats for versatility; the front doors open to 90 degrees, there are no B pillars and the rear doors slide right back for maximum accessibility.
All four doors and the hatch open electrically. There are also touchpads in the doors so rear passengers can control the sliding rear doors, windows and individual climate control zones. Once you’ve set all the individual parameters such as drive mode, climate control, seat position, ambient lighting and favourite radio station to your preference, you sync them with your smartphone, which then becomes a digital key. Bring your phone near the car and it will unlock, greet you with a clever light show and set everything just the way you like it.