The introduction of new models for automakers follows a fixed schedule. But the plan does not work for the Volkswagen electric SUV ID.4.
The introduction of new models follows a fixed pattern in the automotive industry. Only small details like the headlights or the bumpers are shown. These appetizers are meant to whet the appetite of the customers, but the whole new car would never be shown many months in advance. At most, new models appear in camouflage look, mostly with glued-on camouflage film.
Volkswagen is doing the same with its new electric cars from the ID model family. After the compact model ID.3, which builds on the Golf from the combustion world and which has already been officially presented, the car company is preparing to launch the first fully electric SUV, the ID.4.
There is also a fixed chronology for this electric SUV. So far, the vehicle was only visible with camouflage film. The first real presentation of the ID.4 is actually scheduled for autumn. But this time frame has now been broken, the first full pictures of the new and undisguised SUV have appeared on the Internet.
The starting point of the photo leak is in China, at the local Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIT), where the pictures of the new Volkswagen with electric drive were already available. Car enthusiasts had discovered the images at the ministry and distributed them worldwide via Internet forums.
Volkswagen does not officially want to comment on whether the pictures are authentic. Because the Wolfsburg hope that the original schedule for the presentation of the new electric SUV can still be adhered to despite the unplanned publication.
At Wolfsburg, the confirmation comes that the pictures from China correspond to the real facts. “Maybe with one or the other Chinese peculiarity that we won’t see here in Europe,” says an insider. But on the whole, the pictures from China showed what European customers could also expect in the autumn.
Production in Germany, China and USA
The ID.3 is something like the electric Golf. Volkswagen designed this first electric model primarily for the European market, where the Golf and the compact class have their strongest roots. In other parts of the world, the best-selling Volkswagen model is not as important as it is in Europe.
With the SUV it looks completely different. They can be sold in all parts of the world. The SUV boom had started much earlier in the USA and China than in Europe. Volkswagen also reacted to this when planning the model for its new generation of electric vehicles.
The ID.4 is something like the first world car from the new Volkswagen electric family. It is produced in Germany as well as in China and in the USA. The first production facility for the ID.4 is the VW plant in Zwickau, Saxony, where the ID.3 also rolls off the assembly line.
Volkswagen is planning to build two new factories for fully electric vehicles together with its joint venture partners for the huge Chinese car market. In China, the production of the ID models should begin at the end of the year, then – according to Chinese preferences – first with the ID.4.
At the start of sales in Germany, Volkswagen is currently concentrating primarily on the ID.3, the first units of which are to be delivered in September. Afterwards, the group doesn’t have much time for the ID.4, because the first cars should be out by the end of the year.
Technically, this is perfectly manageable for Volkswagen, since ID.3 and ID.4 differ only slightly in the interior. They are manufactured on the basis of a common platform (“modular electrical kit”). The outer skin made of sheet metal, i.e. the body shape, makes the difference. According to ID.4, many more ID variants with other body shapes are planned.