Volkswagen reveals ID.4 electric SUV, and it’s coming to South Africa

Published Sep 25, 2020


WOLFSBURG - Volkswagen has revealed the second member of its new ‘ID’ family of electric vehicles, and unlike the ID.3 hatchback that was revealed last year, the ID.4 is coming to South Africa in 2022.

Designed to be a world car, the ID.4 takes the form of a compact SUV and is powered by a 150kW electric motor, which is fed by a 77 kWh battery that’ said to offer a range of up to 520km on the WLTP cycle.

VW says the new SUV will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds, while the top speed is listed at 160km/h. Initial versions will be rear-wheel drive only, but Volkswagen says its 210mm ground clearance will allow it to perform well on gentle off-road terrain.

However, a dual-motor 4WD version that accelerates to 100km/h in under six seconds is said to be on the cards for further down the line.

We’ll have to wait until 2022 to find out how much the ID.4 costs in South Africa, but US pricing will initially start at $39 995 (R670 000), but the company is promising a cheaper (and lower range) version for $35 000 further down the line.

Volkswagen sees most of its customers migrating from conventional compact SUVs such as the Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V.

The company's goal is to broaden electric cars' appeal beyond “first adopters” to buyers simply looking for affordable transportation.

Volkswagen hopes car buyers will be attracted by the advantages that come from designing a car as an electric vehicle from the ground up. Putting the battery flat below the passenger space gives the ID.4 about the same interior space as that of the longer Volkswagen Tiguan SUV, while the lower center of gravity makes for better handling.

Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at research firm IHS Markit, said the vehicle is “very significant for Volkswagen as it tries to move forward and transition from traditional engines to a more electric vehicle lineup."

She cautioned that the transition to significant electric sales will take decades. "This is the beginning of a very long journey for them."

Consumers are getting more choice, with 18 electric models available in 2018 growing to 120 by 2025. And that will help push electrics to a 9% market share by 2025:

“For the electric vehicle market to really find the success that we expect it will, it needs to make that trip over to people who are less aggressive about change and are willing to try it anyway.”