The results of Volkswagen’s electric car investment are coming faster now. Like other large automakers, Volkswagen’s promised transition to electric vehicles took a while to start putting production EVs in customers’ driveways. The overall pace of EV launches is picking up, even if sales volumes are backing off a bit — such is the pace of progress. On November 13, VW announced its new EV flagship model, the 2024 Volkswagen ID.7.
There’s a lot to talk about with the ID.7 announcement, and it will probably be a few months into 2024 before VW delivers the first cars to customers in the U.S. According to the vehicle launch announcement, the ID.7 will have a new power unit, advanced driver interface technology, and sumptuous luxury features. However, the ID.7’s headline attraction is the driving range per charge.
According to VW, the ID.7 Pro with an 82 kWh battery has a WLTP range per charge of 386 miles. Let’s start with disclaimers. While a hefty number, 386 miles isn’t the same as 400 miles, it’s nearly there. The second qualification is that the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) rating VW quoted is a European mileage standard typically more optimistic than the U.S. EPA ratings. The consensus is that WLTP ratings are roughly 20% greater than EPA ranges. If that’s the case with the ID.7, the EPA ratings will likely be closer to 300 than 386 miles.
The difference between EPA’s range ratings and others, such as the WLTP and the CLTC (China Light Duty Vehicle Test Cycle), isn’t a consistent ratio and can vary among manufacturers and vehicle models. Also, many U.S. drivers have a greater driving range with their EVs than the EPA ratings. Suppose you live in an area with relatively moderate temperatures and seldom accelerate hard or drive excessively high speeds. In that case, you have a good chance of outperforming the EPA estimates.
The ID.7 is a large sedan, which is more significant than the VW Passat and Arteon in length and wheelbase. Longer wheelbases enable smoother rides. Luxury comfort and convenience include active electronic air vent control and upgraded heated and cooled seats with pressure point massage functions. All trims will have balanced suspension damping with an optional advanced dynamic damping system that reacts to driving style, balancing comfort and agility.
Volkswagen made a fresh start with the ID.7 ‘s interior design. An augmented reality heads-up display projects information such as speed and turn signals closer to the driver and less crucial information such as battery charge level and navigation instructions further out, prioritizing based on relative urgency. The navigation system can use lane selection to direct the driver to easily travel in the best lane to transition to the next exit or highway junction.
The VW ID.7 also has a new suite of driver assistance systems, including vehicle-controlled parking assistance for memorized parking spots or garages. Other upgraded driver assistance features include assisted lane changes, exit warning systems, and active recommendations with the cruise control speed setting too high for road features ahead.
Volkswagen has not announced pricing for the ID.7. VW European customers can now order the premium ID.7 Pro. Other ID.7 models will follow, including a lower trim model with a smaller capacity battery. VW did not give a date for orders by U.S. customers, but the manufacturer stated that the ID.7 will be launched worldwide.
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