VW ID Roomzz unveiled in Shanghai

Electric vehicles for every niche: VW's lounge-alike electric SUV will go on sale in 2021

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The new Volkswagen ID Roomzz concept car has been unveiled on the eve of the 2019 Auto Shanghai motor show, showing how VW’s electric car range is expanding at a dizzying rate. And this is no flight of fancy; it’s previewing a new type of crossover/MPV mash-up, due to go on sale in 2021.

It’s no accident that the new electric vehicle is being shown in China; this is the world’s biggest zero-emissions market and this week’s car show will be festooned with battery-powered electric cars.

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VW ID Roomzz: your essential briefing

This is a large, five-metre long car, whose focus is on interior space and versatility, hence the four large suicide doors that open like a reverse handclap for ease of access. Unsurprisingly, Volkswagen talks of ‘a lounge on wheels’, as its designers grapple with what the autonomous future looks like. The ID Roomzz features ID Pilot mode, which allows for full hands-off, level 4 driverless mode, you see.

Drivers place their hand on the VW badge on the steering wheel for at least five seconds to enable autonomous mode; the wheel then moves discretely out of the way, freeing up more space for the interior lounge effect.

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Electric car tech

The new VW ID Roomzz is based on Wolfsburg’s new soon-to-be-ubiquitous MEB modular electric architecture - the backbone of most of the first tranche of EVs emerging from VW, Seat, Skoda and Audi in the mainstream branch of Volkswagen’s sprawling empire.

“The ID Roomzz shows us what we can expect from full-size electric SUVs in the future,” said VW design boss Klaus Bischoff. “The puristic look emphasises the clear function and the user experience is intuitive and natural.”

Look no further than the new AppleSkin artificial leather, which contains a fifth vegetable matter. The seats themselves have three different modes: they can be configured in the following layouts:

-          ID Drive mode  Normal front-facing configuration for regular driving

-          ID Pilot mode  All seats rotate 25deg towards each other for a more social space

-          ID Pilot Relax mode  Each seat can be fully adjusted individually

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The idea being that the cabin layout can be adjusted to match the driving mode of the car. When in full Level 4 autonomous setting, the seats can swivel to a two-facing-two mode - perfect for a family game of cards or business meeting on the fly.

The concept car is a four-seater with a glass roof. But VW admits the production version will be offered with three rows of seats as a seven-seater. For this concept iteration of the VW ID Roomzz, those electric chairs pivot outwards to make it easier to climb in or out.

VW ID Roomzz tech specs, battery range, performance and more

The new ID Roomzz is a powerful crossover, with two electric motors: the front axle is powered by a 75kW motor, while the rear axle boasts an output of 150kW. Under normal driving conditions, it’s rear-wheel-drive but the front wheels come to life under full throttle or if slip is detected, activating all-wheel-drive 4Motion mode.

With 225kW in total, this large car is impressively fleet of foot. Volkswagen quotes 0-100km/h in 6.6sec and top speed is capped at 180km/h (the limit that’s likely to spread like wildfire across most cars; Volvo has already committed to it across its range).

Of rather more interest, the lithium-ion battery pack has an 82kWh capacity, which brings 450km range on the latest European WLTP combined cycle. VW says the ID Roomzz can charge at up to 150kW DC; on rapid charge, that means the battery can be topped up to 80% in around half an hour.

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Augmented reality: head-up displays go high-tech

Note also the latest augmented reality (AR) tech which beams nav instructions and other notifications on to the head up display in front of the driver. They’re super-imposed on the view ahead, with arrows indicating the direction of travel, a bit like the latest Mercedes-Benz MBUX system.

We’re meeting the ID Roomzz’s makers in China in the coming days; come back for more first-hand detail soon.

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And that ID Roomzz name?

Ah yes. What can we say? Wolfsburg is working the ID family tree hard and the youthful name is just one of those cringe-worthy badges we’ll have to accept for now and hope doesn’t make it to production…

Like all the other VW ID family members, this electric car is based on the group’s important new MEB EV car architecture. It’s the sixth battery-powered car shown so far, following in the silent tyre tracks of the ID, ID Crozz, ID Buzz, ID Vizzion and the ID Buggy.

There'll soon be an electric Volkswagen for nearly every conceivable niche...


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