As promised, the Volkswagen brand officially showed its new ID flagship on the 17th of April. The almost five-meter-long ID.7 saloon has a new drive system and battery size and is trimmed for range and comfort to convince earlier European Passat clientele to change to electric drive. In addition, the promised 700 km range of the top version should also be a convincing argument in the US and China.
This top version with the much-quoted 700-kilometer range is the ID.7 Pro S. This range, which is not yet an official WLTP measurement, is possible thanks to the new, improved electric drive with the designation APP550.
We summarised the details of this 210 kW drive earlier on. Meanwhile, the ninth generation of the (ICE) Passat is also planned, but in Europe, it will only be available in the break version.
Two battery sizes, excellent aerodynamics
The ID.7 features the largest battery of any VW EV to date. The power storage unit in the ID.7 Pro S offers a usable net energy content of 85 kWh (91 kWh gross). However, this is not a further developed replacement for the 77 kWh battery (82 kWh gross). The latter remains offered in the ID.7 Pro standard version with a range of up to 615 kilometers.
For longer travel distances, aerodynamics are, of course, also very important. The impressive 4,96 meters length (2,97-meter wheelbase) combined with the curved tail helps better guide the air around the body. The car’s width is 1,86 m (mirrors not included), and the height lies at 1,54 m. The car is a 5-door saloon. An estate version is meant to follow later.
Numerous details at the front and rear should also contribute to better airflow. The result is a very low drag coefficient of “approximately” 0,23. However, VW does not want to give an exact figure, as drag also depends on the equipment. The frontal area is 2,45 square meters.
Both batteries are combined with the newly developed drive system. However, whether both versions will also come with 210 kW power is not explicitly confirmed in the announcement; the ID.7 Pro with 77 kWh may get slightly less power. Until now, VW offered 150 kW for this battery with the old drive unit.
What is clear, however, is that the DC charging power of the 77 kWh battery will remain at the known 170 kW at its peak; with the new 85 kWh battery, it will be up to 200 kW at its peak. VW does not yet specify the charging time. The ID.7 finally gets battery preconditioning, automatically bringing the battery to the optimal temperature before a charging stop.
The mentioned wheelbase of 2,97 meters creates space for the slightly larger battery and ensures more room inside – regardless of whether you use it with five adults, including luggage, or enjoy the feeling of space. And a long wheelbase improves straight-line stability, which should offer stable and pleasant handling on long journeys.
Logically, VW claims it has optimized its electric car for this purpose, even beyond the more efficient drive and the larger battery. The assistance systems with the familiar ‘Travel Assist with swarm data’ (e.g., automated lane changes on the highway) are also intended to aid the driver.
The newly developed front seats offer an optional ‘adaptive seat climatronic’ that independently controls seat heating and cooling. In addition, a ‘sophisticated new massage function’ is supposed to provide further relaxation.
The augmented reality head-up display (HUD) is optional in other ID. models, and is also factory-fitted in the ID.7. It allowed the designers to rethink the cockpit. Previously placed on the steering column, the speedometer display is now very small and integrated into the dashboard. In the designers’ logic, it is now less needed, as the driver gets all the necessary information displayed on the windscreen.
The thus reduced dashboard with an integrated air vent is only interrupted by the free-standing 15-inch touchscreen. It runs the next-generation infotainment system with a new graphic interface and further developed menu navigation, presumably more user-friendly.
‘The goal here was to make the operation of all functions as simple, intuitive, and personalizable as possible. For this purpose, the display was divided into two permanently visible touch bars and the home screen,” the VW press release says. So, for example, the touch sliders below the display (e.g., interior temperature and volume) are now illuminated.
Another new feature compared to other ID. models is the optional ‘Smart Glass’ panorama roof. A layer of special liquid crystals (polymer-dispersed liquid crystals) is integrated into the glass surface. If an electric voltage is applied to these crystals, they sort themselves so light can pass through. If no voltage is used, the crystals arrange themselves to make the glass opaque. The switching process is activated by touch control in the roof console or via voice assistant.
Regardless of this special glass roof and the ‘smart’ seats that automatically heat and cool according to temperature or humidity, it is already clear that the ID.7 will initially only be launched as the ID.7 Pro with the 77 kWh battery at the planned European sales launch in autumn 2023 (pre-sales from summer).
VW has yet to announce when exactly the ID.7 Pro S with an 85 kWh battery pack will follow. However, from 2024, the Wolfsburg company wants to offer the model in North America. Like the European vehicles, the US variants will also be built at the Emden plant.
That means that if there is no agreement between the US government and the EU on the eligibility of electric cars assembled outside North America, the ID.7 could miss out on the EV tax credit of up to $7 500 in the US.
The situation is different again in China, where the ID.7 will be built and sold locally by VW joint ventures, as usual. According to initial registrations with the responsible ministry, only one variant of the ID.7 has been registered in China for the time being, with a 150 kW motor and a 77 kWh battery from FAW-CATL. It is unknown whether the new 210 kW drive with the larger battery will also come to China.
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