Volkswagen's new flagship electric sedan will also be its largest, longest-ranging EV yet.
After a CES 2023 tease wrapped in electroluminescent camouflage, Volkswagen's new ID 7 flagship electric sedan has been unwrapped this week. The sedan's sleek proportions aren't just for looks; the aerodynamic shape helps the ID 7 slip through the air with very little drag, stretching the range with its largest battery pack up to 435 miles on the European WLTP test cycle.
The ID 7 is a large, midsize sedan. Stretching the automaker's MEB electric vehicle platform to 195.3 inches from bumper to bumper, it's the VW's longest production electric vehicle yet -- 14.2 inches longer than the ID 4 and 9.8 inches longer than the short-wheelbase ID Buzz. (Of course, the yet-to-be-unveiled long-wheelbase Buzz that we'll get here in the states will measure 196.1 inches, but I'm getting off topic.)
The ID 7 is a touch taller than your average sedan to accommodate the battery pack beneath the cabin floor, but its reduced aerodynamic profile and low 0.23 drag coefficient (among the lowest in the business) allow it to slip through the air more efficiently than, say, VW's ID 4 SUV. In Europe, the ID 7 will launch with a huge 86-kilowatt-hour battery pack good for a WLTP-estimated 435 miles of range.
That number's not particularly relevant to prospective US buyers for two reasons. First, the EPA's testing cycle almost always yields more conservative estimates than WLTP. Second, and more importantly, we're not getting the big battery in the US -- at least, not at launch. The ID 7 will arrive in the US in 2024 with a smaller 77-kWh pack targeting an EPA-estimated range over 300 miles.
The ID 7 will launch with a single-motor, rear-drive configuration only, placing its upgraded 282-horsepower electric motor on the rear axle. Internal improvements yield better performance than the ID 4's 201-hp e-motor and, according to the automaker, the highest torque in a Volkswagen EV yet. How much more torque than the ID 4's 229 pound-feet is yet to be specified.
Road trip charging times should also be shortened with up to 200-kilowatt DC fast charging -- versus the ID 4's 125-kW -- thanks to improvements in battery thermal management.
The electric sedan also debuts an all-new 15-inch infotainment suite. The enlarged display now integrates the climate controls with dedicated screen space along the bottom edge. It also sticks with touch sliders for volume and other controls, though at least now they'll be illuminated so you can see them at night. Like the ID 4, a smaller digital instrument cluster sits just ahead of the steering wheel.
The dashboard and steering wheel both still make extensive use of haptic touch controls, despite VW's recent pledge to go back to physical buttons. Most likely, the ID 7's development predates that initiative.
Available massage seats and an electro-chromic sunroof that swaps between opaque and transparent at the touch of a button are an indicator that this VW is aiming more upscale. The ID 7 will also roll out with "Level-2 ready" driver assistance features including Park Assist Pro with Memory Function, allowing the EV to be remotely parked from outside of the vehicle using a smartphone app with a 55-yard memory.
North American availability of the ID 7 will open in 2024, following a fall 2023 launch in Europe and China. Pricing should be announced closer to our launch window, but as the new top model in VW's EV family, expect it to be more expensive than the ID 4. We'll be keeping an eye out for more details in the coming months while also awaiting the long-wheelbase ID Buzz coming later this year.