What to Expect from Volkswagen's I.D. Electric Vehicle Brand
We'll see the first production-bound Volkswagen EV next year, along with more concept cars, and maybe even quicker variants.
During the weekend of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Volkswagen shared additional information on near-future products to be sold under its electric vehicle brand designation: "I.D."
It stated that the first production-ready I.D. vehicle would be based on the original "I.D." concept car, as revealed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and is due for unveiling some time in 2019.
Along with the production-ready version of the above vehicle, Volkswagen told The Drive via email to expect more I.D. vehicle concepts in the "very near future," some of which we speculate could be further retro-inspired products in the same vein as the I.D. Buzz concept.
Volkswagen bigwigs have already expressed interest in offering similar electro-classics, including an electric Beetle, and the return of the "Thing" light military vehicle. Despite relatively low demand for each of these products, a conversation with a company official during the Pikes Peak race weekend suggested that Volkswagen's highly modular MEB electric vehicle underpinnings can be used to make the business case of small-production run vehicles more viable, though no minimal production numbers were specified.
These factors do not conclusively suggest that Volkswagen is about to reveal an I.D. Karmann Ghia concept or similar, but they certainly make us imagine such a car as feasible.
Volkswagen also confirmed R-branded electric vehicles in its future, but did not immediately discuss whether R packages for its I.D. vehicles would be appearance packages as seen on the Atlas and Arteon R-Line, or performance-oriented upgrade packages, such as on the Golf R. In a phone call with The Drive, Volkswagen's Senior Manager of Product and Technology Mark Gillies told us that he speculates that R-branded I.D. vehicles will err toward the latter (faster versions) than the former appearance packages.
Gillies also stated that it is far too early for him to declare this the direction in which Volkswagen will take its R-branded I.D. vehicles, but his optimism has rubbed off on us. I.D. Buzz R? We're down.