Volkswagen has released pricing for the ID.4 AWD Pro in the US, starting at $US43,675 ($A57,847 converted), making it now the most affordable dual-motor electric SUV.
It’s a smart move by Volkswagen, which will have a fight on its hand when Tesla starts making the Model Y at its upcoming Berlin factory. Going on the attack in the EV maker’s home ground instead seems to be the German automaker’s modus operandi.
“We’re committed to making EVs the default choice for Americans,” said Volkswagen of America boss Scott Keogh in a statement on the pricing.
And this is, in fact, a distinct possibility, considering it is eligible for the full US federal EV tax rebate of $US7,500 which brings it down to just $US36,175 ($A47,913 at today’s rates).
(Don’t worry about the fact that there is no similar rebate in Australia, which unlike the US and New Zealand, remains head-in-sand on EV acceleration policy. Because of this lack of policy the VW ID.4 and its electric hatch stablemate the ID.3 will not be here before 2023, anyway. But if and when it does make it here, recent comments on potential “genuinely affordable” ID.3 pricing in Australia give an indication of local pricing strategies.)
With its main competitor Tesla Model Y (which is still only available in Long Range and Performance variants) priced from $US52,490 ($A69,522 converted) and no longer available for the federal rebate, the ID.4 AWD Pro pips the Californian crossover by almost $SU10,000.
When the Standard Range Plus Model Y goes on sale it will be kitted with only one motor. The Bolt EUV priced from $US33,995 similarly has just one drive.
Expected to reach dealers in the fourth quarter of 2021, specifications for the ID.4 AWD Pro include a maximum 295 horsepower (220kW) output and 309Nm torque from the rear-drive, and 107 horsepower (80kW) output and 161Nm torque from the front-drive for a total 300kW.
That’s twice the power of the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro and a good 50% higher than the Tesla Model Y Long Range’s 201kW.
The dual motors are set up in a variable drive configuration which allows the rear motor to do most of the hard work, engaging the front motor as needed – for example, to curtail tailspin on corners.
Volkswagen takes pains to note that this is done much faster than in a combustion engine vehicle, which along with electronic stability control and a vehicle dynamics management system underlines the safety as well as the eco-friendly credentials of the ID.4.
“The all-wheel-drive ID.4 merges the utility and zero-emissions driving delivered by the rear-wheel-drive vehicle with the performance from our sporty vehicles,” said Keogh.
With the same 82kWh battery as the single motor variant, the Pro has an EPA range rating of 249 miles (400km) while the Pro S can go 240 miles (386km) in a single charge.
The ID.4 AWD Pro – which in Europe is sold under the GTX moniker – comes with five driving modes. The usual Eco, Comfort and Sport suspects are joined by a fourth customisable mode that sits between Comfort and Sport, and Traction mode which engages both drives for slippery and loose surfaces.
In addition to extra driving modes, the ID.4 AWD Pro has an upgraded towing capacity of 1.2 tonnes compared to the rear-wheel-drive’s 1 tonnes capacity, and a heated windshield for icy conditions.
Other than that, the AWD variants get the same features as their RWD equivalents.
The ID.4 AWD Pro S, which can have the Gradient package with 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and further design differentiators added, starts at $US48,175. Both models include three years of free unlimited public DC fast charging on the Electrify America network.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor 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.