Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter has confirmed that Volkswagen will produce an all-electric station wagon with an impressive 700km driving range that will be available from 2023.
One of 70 electric models planned by the German auto group, which includes VW, Porsche, Audi, and Skoda among others, the all-electric wagon will be based on the ID. Space Vizzion concept first unveiled at the 2019 LA Auto Show.
In a post on professional networking site Linked In, Brandstätter shared an image of himself with a near-series study that the VW design team has nicknamed “Aero B”.
It differs from the original Vizzion concept somewhat, with a slightly bulkier bonnet and more aggressive front fender with honeycomb design that juts out beyond the familiar VW logo, in line with the roomier Space Vizzion.
According to Brandstätter, the as-yet-unnamed production vehicle – which will certainly follow the naming convention of the ID.3 electric hatch and ID.4 electric SUV – will be made at the German car maker’s factory in Emden using VW’s modular electric MEB platform.
This will be converted, like its Zwickau factory where the ID.3 is made, to an all-electric vehicle factory from 2023 at a cost of one billion euros ($A1.62 billion) according to Brandstätter.
Although the Aero B will likely replace the Volkswagen Passat as was flagged by Volkswagen America’s chief operating officer Johan de Nysschen in February, don’t expect the new electric vehicle will be your run-of-the-mill family wagon.
“The Aero B is our interpretation of sustainable premium,” said Brandstätter in his post on Linked In (translated from German).
“It scores in all dimensions of electrical performance: thanks to our continuously improved MEB, it can be charged super-fast and offers a bit more of everything: more space, more range, more acceleration and more top speed.”
That range will be 700km on a single charge (the original concept stated 590km), making it a “range hero” according to Brandstätter.
It will satisfy the roomy space requirement one would expect from a wagon, but with a classy edge.
“It impresses with high-quality interiors and a lot of space: classy and spacious like a Phaeton, along with huge trunk volume. And with 700km a real range hero,” he wrote.
This will be achieved, at least in part, by its aerodynamic performance – Brandstätter mentions a “Cw value” (a nother term for drag co-efficient), although not a number.
As Electrive notes, the 2019 concept was quoted by VW as having a drag co-efficient of 0.24, just one point higher than the Tesla Model Y.
“Its aerodynamic design ensures a top Cw value and an extremely attractive high-tech appearance,” wrote Brandstätter. “A feast for the senses – and for all tech and design fans!”
The all-electric wagon will join the ID.3 hatch and ID.4 SUV, as well as an all-electric Kombi that will be based on the ID. Buzz concept that Volkswagen has previously said will be introduced in 2022.
The ID.4 is expected to be the first model from VW’s ID series to reach the Australian market, and we have reached out to Volkswagen Australia to determine if the wagon will also be considered.
However, it would appear that an all-electric coupé is not on the cards.
According to VW’s e-mobility board member Thomas Ulbrich who spoke with German news agency Automobilwoche on Sunday, VW will only roll out the ID.5 coupé variant planned for 2021 to the European market.
“The ID.5 will initially only be built in Europe and only here,” said Ulbrich in Germany. “Worldwide, the basic model is coming first, and that is the ID.4.”
By 2025, Volkswagen plans to sell a total of more than one million electric cars per year.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.