Volkswagen's latest concept, the ID, isn't just a pie-in-the-sky vehicle with no basis in reality. Instead, the company insists it will reach production in 2020, and this concept version gives us an early look at VW's vision for the future.
The ID takes Volkswagen's current design language and filters it through a very futuristic lens. The edges are reminiscent of the current Golf, but its LED front lighting is a throwback to previous electric VW concepts. It rides atop VW's new MEB platform, which will underpin future electric vehicles.
According to VW's claims, the ID will blend the curbside footprint of a compact Golf with the interior comfort and volume of a midsize Passat thanks to the extra space freed up by designing around the compact electric powertrain.
Powered by a 167-horsepower electric motor, Volkswagen believes the ID concept will reach between 248 and 373 miles on a single charge of its battery. Of course, being a vision for the future, it packs a fully autonomous driving system, dubbed ID Pilot, powered by an array of ten laser scanners and cloud communication. When this mode engages, the steering wheel will fold into the dashboard, giving the driver room to get comfortable.
Even better, it's coming to production, albeit with a few likely changes. VW claims the ID will hit the market in 2020, acting as a parallel to the Golf. Whether that spells the end of the e-Golf is to be determined. The ID Pilot system won't come online until 2025, so you'll have to wait just a bit longer for your EV to become self-driving.
The ID is part of Volkswagen's lofty goal of selling 1 million EVs per year by 2025. Considering the e-Golf isn't selling by the hundreds of thousands at the moment, it's an uphill battle, but given the company's desire to get as far away from diesel as possible, its electric push will likely ride atop a great wave of effort.
At the Paris unveiling, Volkswagen Chairman Herbert Diess stated that VW wants the ID to be its next people's car and estimated that the EV would sell for about "the price of a Golf diesel", or under $30,000, when it finally hits the road.
Update, September 30: We've added new statements from Volkswagen regarding pricing estimates for the ID and more.