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VOLKSWAGEN: Order books open for ID.4 electric SUV Hero Front

VOLKSWAGEN: Order books open for ID.4 electric SUV

Volkswagen has opened the sales order books for the new ID.4 SUV. As is common with new car introductions these days, the electric SUV will initially only be available as a high-spec ‘1st Edition’ model, which starts from £37,800 after the plug-in car grant has been applied.

It’s scheduled to arrive in dealerships in March, while a less-expensive range-entry trim grade and upwards will be introduced later in the year.

The ID.4 is expected to be a big seller for Volkswagen, as it taps into demand for electric cars and SUVs. It shares its underpinnings with the previously-introduced ID.3 and the forthcoming Skoda Enyaq iV and will be a direct rival to other electric SUV models like the Tesla Model Y and Nissan Ariya, both due later this year.

Bespoke ‘1st’ badging marks out the launch edition model, alongside brown interior highlights, 20-inch alloy wheels and the option of Honey Yellow paint (pictured), which is one of four metallic paint colours available. Standard equipment includes efficient LED headlights, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, heated seats and steering wheel, a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, sat nav and adaptive cruise control.

The ID.4 ‘1st Edition’ manages 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds, on to a top speed of 99 mph. It’s powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 201 bhp, and a 77 kW/h battery with a range of up to 310 miles. When connected to a 125 kW rapid charger, a 30-minute top up will add around 190 miles of range.

The remaining trim levels for the ID.4 range are yet to be confirmed but if VW follows the ID.3 trim structure, different models will be aimed at business and family buyers, plus a ‘Max’ version with all equipment included and a ‘Tour’ model offering the most range.

Inside, the ID.4 features a digital instrument cluster and an infotainment screen mounted on the dashboard, like the ID.3. There are capacitive controls for the climate control and 30-colour ambient lighting for the fascia and door trims. An LED strip along the bottom of the dashboard can change colour and blink to alert the driver to notifications, and work with the sat nav and safety systems to suggest direction changes.

Piano Black and silver trim adds to the interior design, while the seats are upholstered in an eco-friendly mix of artificial leather and Velours made from 20% recycled plastic bottles. The front seats will also offer a massaging function and pneumatic lumbar support.

The ID.4 is slightly longer than the Volkswagen Tiguan, but there’ll be as much space as a larger SUV because there’s no engine or drivetrain tunnel. This is in keeping with the Golf-sized ID.3, which has a similar amount of space to the bigger Volkswagen Passat.

It’s also been confirmed that the ID.4 will offer 543 litres of boot space behind the rear seats; not far behind the 615 litres offered by the Tiguan when its sliding rear seats are pushed forwards. Flipping the rear seats down frees up 1,575 litres of space. Fitted with the optional towing bracket, the ID.4 can tow up to 1,000 kg.

The German manufacturer has confirmed that the launch ‘1st Edition’ of the ID.4 will be rear-wheel drive. An all-wheel drive model featuring two electric motors (one driving each axle) will follow afterwards.

Like the Golf-sized ID.3, the ID.4 will be based on VW’s modular MEB platform, which was developed specifically for electric cars. The platform can accommodate a variety of different electric powertrains, allowing VW to offer less expensive variants.

Battery packs used in MEB-based cars currently range from 45 to 77 kW/h and the ID.4 ‘1st Edition’ offers only the larger of those. Later this year, the ID.4 will be available with a smaller 52 kW/h battery, which will offer a range of up to 224 miles, says VW. This version will get a single electric motor on the rear axle and be offered with a power output of either 146 bhp or 168 bhp.

A 177 bhp version will also be available with a 77 kW/h battery. A performance version is also thought to be in development. Dubbed the ID.4 GTX, it would use the 302 bhp twin-motor powertrain from the forthcoming Enyaq vRS, giving it a 0-62 mph time of just over six seconds.

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By Wayne Gorrett

Wayne has been covering developments in the UK's automotive sector for over 10 years, providing news, reviews, first-drive impressions and opinion pieces for a number of print and web outlets in the UK and South Africa. A former marketing director, Wayne is based in a rural village near Winchester, Hampshire. You can follow him on Twitter: @WaynesWorldAuto Facebook: WaynesWorldAuto Instagram: WaynesWorldAuto